Budget for high income economy


KUCHING: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said yesterday that the 2011 State Budget was not an ‘election budget’ but rather “a budget to achieve a high income economy”.

Taib, who is Minister of Finance, said this when met by reporters after he tabled the 2011 Budget in the State Legislative Assembly.

Earlier, when presenting the budget, he said that the 2011 budget proposal was expected to generate a budget surplus of RM60 million.

“This is on the basis of estimated total revenue of RM3,844 million which includes appropriation to the Development Fund Account.

“ It is important to have a balanced or surplus budget to ensure that the state’s financial position remains sound and healthy,” he added.

The chief minister also proposed that a sum of RM3,630 million be allocated for development expenditure.

“Of the total amount proposed for development expenditure, RM3,163 million will be funded by the state while RM467 million will be financed by the federal government through loans and reimbursement grants,” he said.

He assured that the proposed budget would be fairly distributed to ensure balanced distribution of development throughout the state, especially in less developed areas.

“There is a need for the rural areas to catch up with the development in the urban areas, especially those that have economic potential that could be harnessed and contribute substantially to the state’s economy.

“Hence, we have to give greater emphasis to develop the necessary infrastructure and amenities such as roads, drainage, telecommunication electricity and water supplies aimed at improving the quality of life as well as attracting more investment into these areas,” Taib said.

Taib stressed that the expenditure as proposed under the budget had been allocated on the basis of projects expenditure requirements for the implementation and completion of various approved projects under the Malaysian Plan of the state in 2011.

Allocations proposed for major programmes are as follows:
1    RM1,737 million of the proposed development budget is for commerce and industry sector. It will be for implementing of various industrial estates projects, entrepreneurs development programme and investment.

2    RM249 million for transport and communications especially for the purpose of roads, bridges and ports;

3    RM343 million  for general administration.

4    RM635 million  for agriculture programmes such as land development, drainage and irrigation, assistance to farmers, veterinary, fisheries, agricultural research and forestry.

5    RM447 million for the upgrading and development of various water supplies projects.

6    RM219 million for social development and community services including housing and resettlement schemes.

“Apart from our own effort, we also seek more funding for the Federal Government under the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP) especially for infrastructure projects such as roads and utilities especially the in the rural areas,” he said.