Overview Of the Budgeting Process
The annual Government Budget is prepared on a financial year (FY) basis. The FY for the Government runs from 1 April of one year to 31 March of the following year. For example, FY2008 is from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009.
The Budget serves two purposes:
a. It serves as a record of the approved levels of expenditure and accountability in the usage of government funds; and
b. It is also a plan of the estimated government revenue and expenditures for the FY.
Annual Budget Cycle
Before the FY starts, the Minister for Finance would present the annual Budget that has been approved by Cabinet to Parliament. For Budget 2008, this will take place in February 2008. The Budget Debate and Committee of Supply sessions then follow, where Members of Parliament can query the Government on the expenditure of funds in the previous FY, as well as the proposed Budget for the next FY, for the various ministries and organs of state.
After Parliament passes the Supply Bill, thus giving its approval of the Budget, the President will need to give his assent to the Bill before it can come into effect. The President's role is to safeguard the past reserves of the nation. He may withhold his assent to the Bill if, in his opinion, the estimated revenue and expenditure are likely to draw on past reserves.
Once the President gives his assent to the Supply Bill, it is then enacted as law as the Supply Act. The Act will then control the amount of money that the Government may spend in the coming FY, and for what purposes this money may be spent on.
(Source: Ministry of Finance )