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Government Plans Public Investment Budget


The government hopes to spend nearly $3 billion over the next three years on public investment projects, but opposition lawmakers worry the funds could find their way into the pockets of corrupt officials.

The budget, which was approved by the Council of Ministers Friday, will fund 536 projects mostly aimed at public investment.

The Council of Ministers approved $2.83 billion for three years, marking 303 projects as top priorities.

"The Ministry of Economy and Finance will play a crucial role in controlling this budget," Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said.

Opposition officials warn that public investment schemes could be open to graft.

"I am not opposed public investment with proper expenditure," said Yim Sovann, a lawmaker for the Sam Rainsy Party. "What I'm concerned about is that government officials will commit corruption through these projects."

A senior economist for the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, who asked not to be named, said the budget would not be enough to build up the country's infrastructure, following decades of war, but it could help the country's impoverished.

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