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President Halimah Yacob approves draw of S$6 billion from past reserves to fund COVID-19 expenditure

President Halimah Yacob approves draw of S$6 billion from past reserves to fund COVID-19 expenditure

President Halimah Yacob signing the Supply Bill for FY2022 on Mar 23, 2022. (Photo: MCI/Liu Ying)

SINGAPORE: President Halimah Yacob gave her approval for the government to draw S$6 billion from past reserves to fund a “multi-pronged approach” to continue supporting Singapore’s COVID-19 public health expenditure.

“Even as we prepare to transit to the new normal, it is not time yet to spare efforts in areas such as testing, clinical management, vaccination and therapeutics,” said President Halimah in a Facebook post on Wednesday (Mar 23), after giving her assent to the Supply Bill for the financial year 2022.

She said that this is the third consecutive financial year that the country has had to draw on past reserves to battle COVID-19.

“These draws are inevitable because we must garner necessary resources to protect Singaporeans and bolster our economy,” she said.

The Supply Bill for FY2022 includes President Halimah Yacob's approval for the draw of S$6 billion from past reserves to continue supporting Singapore's COVID-19 public health expenditure. (Photo: MCI/Liu Ying)

During his Budget speech last month, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong had said that the cumulative expected draw on past reserves over FY2020 to FY2022 was up to S$42.9 billion, lower than the initial draw of S$52 billion that was originally agreed to for FY2020.

“I take heart that the Government is prudent in the use of Past Reserves, rolling out measures that are critically needed for our people and businesses,” said President Halimah.

In giving her assent to the Supply Bill, she said that she had the benefit of the recommendations by the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) after considering the information provided by the Ministry of Finance on the Budget 2022.

“With perseverance and cooperation from everyone, I am confident that we will once again ride out the current COVID-19 Omicron wave, and further enhance our resilience as a nation,” she added.

Source: CNA/vl(gr)

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