Hornbill Unleashed

November 9, 2017

‘State Budget 2018 to continue emphasis on infrastructure, amenities’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Image result for dun sitting sarawak 2017THE proposed state Budget 2018 will continue to give greater emphasis on developing the necessary infrastructure and amenities such as roads, drainage, telecommunications, electricity and water supplies to improve the quality of life of the people and at the same time attract higher investments.

In stating this, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the proposed development expenditure of RM5.745 billion for 2018 is for the implementation of various major programmes and projects under the Eleventh Malaysia Plan in the state, including the state’s transformation and the digital economy.

The proposed major programmes and projects are to drive the digital economy, improve connectivity in the state, expand coverage of clean treated water supply throughout the state besides strengthening agriculture development, accelerating development in the rural areas, further development of industrial estates, providing affordable housing for the people and enhancing human capital development and government service delivery.

He said of the total provision for development expenditure, RM5.451 billion will be funded by the state while RM294 million will be financed by the federal government through reimbursable loans and grants.

In addition, Abang Johari said a sum of RM56 million is proposed for building and replacing government administrative centres and offices including a new administrative centre in Jepak, new administrative office in Sebauh sub-district and quarters in the state.

“This is in line with our effort to enhance government service delivery while taking care of the wellbeing of our civil servants especially those serving in remote areas,” he said when delivering his state Budget 2018 proposal at the State Legislative Assembly yesterday.

Abang Johari, who is Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said the development allocation as proposed in

the 2018 State Budget partly reflects the overall public sector expenditure in the state as programmes and projects funded directly by the federal government are not shown in the state budget proposal as highlighted.

On federal funding, he said the state welcomes the Budget 2018 tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as it does meet the aspirations of the people of Sarawak in providing allocations for infrastructure for schools, water supply, village roads as well as broadband and telecommunications service improvements.

In particular, Abang Johari thanked the federal government for the allocation for key projects in the state; namely RM2 billion for construction of Pan Borneo Highway; RM1 billion for upgrading, refurbishing and repair works of dilapidated schools; construction of new Mukah Airport; surveying and mapping of Native Customary land worth RM30 million and access road to Balleh dam.

Considering that Sarawak is still lagging far behind Peninsular Malaysia in economic terms and taking into account the state’s vast geographical area and in light of the state’s significant contribution to the national coffers, he said the state ought to be given special consideration for more federal fund allocation.

“The 2018 allocation under the national budget to the state is not adequate in assisting us to catch up on our development status with that of Peninsular Malaysia.

“Therefore, I must reiterate that it is critically important that the federal government continue to provide additional funding to the state to finance the much needed infrastructural projects such as roads, bridges, wharves and jetties, drainage, utilities, basic rural facilities and amenities, medical facilities and services, schools, especially in rebuilding our dilapidated schools.

“Allocation must also be given for programmes and schemes to assist our farmers, livestock breeders and fishermen in the rural areas.

“It is the obligation and responsibility of the federal government to provide adequate funding for public facilities and infrastructures in the state that are at par with that of Peninsular Malaysia.

“This will also help to close the development gap between the urban and rural areas. Sarawak should not be left behind and our people must enjoy the same facilities as enjoyed by those in Peninsular Malaysia.”

Source : The Borneo Post Online



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