KUCHING, Nov 9 — Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today announced a budget of RM9.832 billion for 2021 as the state government will continue to emphasise on development next year.
He said that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government was still able to come up with a surplus budget as it estimated Sarawak’s revenue to reach RM10.012 billion in 2021.
“With the estimated revenue of RM10.012 billion and a total proposed ordinary expenditure of RM9.832 billion, the proposed 2021 Budget is expected to generate a surplus of RM180 million,” he said when tabling the budget at the State Legislative Assembly sitting here.
According to him, the budget next year would continue to be development biased as RM6.304 billion or 62 per cent had been planned for such purposes with the remaining amount for operating expenditure.
“The state (government) will continue to hasten the development in rural areas in order to bridge the development gap between the urban and rural areas,” he said, adding that RM4.251 billion would be allocated for this purpose.
Abang Johari, who is also the State Finance and Economic Planning Minister, said among the major projects that the budget would focus on were the coastal road network for which RM1.152 billion was allocated, Regional Corridor Development Authority (RECODA) projects (RM1.687 billion) and Integrated Regional Samarahan Development Agency (IRSDA) projects (RM792 million).
He said the implementation of these projects would enable the people to enjoy better public amenities and infrastructures that would ultimately help to improve their standard of living.
“Furthermore, these projects create multiplier effects to the local economy, generating thousands of job opportunities for the local folks and boosting the construction and service sectors,” he said.
For the 18th consecutive year, he said, the state’s financial account for last year had been given a clean bill of health, which clearly indicated the state’s continuous financial management in exercising financial prudence and discipline.
“In spite of the criticism made against my administration by certain irresponsible quarters (previously) that Sarawak will be bankrupt in three years’ time, the GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) state government has shown that we have been able to manage our financial resources prudently and even increase our revenue,” he added.