A sustainable and smart Singapore
Building sustainable infrastructure for the long run
Budget 2019 focuses on the criticality of long-term infrastructure for Singapore’s growth and the need to develop in a sustainable manner from both environmental and financing perspectives. Pending the upcoming Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Master Plan 2019 which will guide our urban development over the next 10 to 15 years, and the Ministry of National Development’s sharing of more details in the Committee of Supply, some of the key themes covered in Budget 2019 include:
- Use of debt instead of direct funding by the Government for infrastructure projects; and
- Use of capital markets to fund infrastructure projects as in the case of Changi Airport Terminal 5, with bonds guaranteed by the Government.
Shared costs, enhanced accountability
Given the long-term nature of infrastructure projects, it is fair that costs be shared across generations. This is achieved by
The use of Government debt is also important in driving greater accountability by respective project owners.
Furthering public trust, catalysing debt capital markets
As more statutory boards raise funds to finance projects, these boards will need to strengthen systems and processes such as risk management, reporting
Bond issuances by statutory boards is a
We’ll have to keep building
Given the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative and Singapore’s potential role as a key regional hub, Budget 2019 has fallen short of coming up with a financing programme – the creation of a project development fund, for instance, to further strengthen the Infrastructure Office (Infrastructure Asia) created in last year’s Budget.
More could also have been done to
In addition, the private sector’s role in Singapore’s infrastructure delivery could be further prioritised.
The Budget also highlighted the need to incorporate environmental factors such as air quality, climate change