KUALA LUMPUR: Budget 2016 proposes to allocate a total of RM29.2 billion for development in Sabah and Sarawak.
Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in tabling the budget in the Dewan Rakyat, said the domestic air transportation for economy class passengers on the Rural Air Services in the two states would be exempted from GST.
This is because air transportation is one of the main modes of transportation for people in the interior areas of the two states as well as the Federal Territory of Labuan, he said.
Najib also announced a new programme, saying that RM70 million would be provided through Bank Simpanan Nasional in collaboration with the Sabah and Sarawak governments for interest-free loans for the purpose of building longhouses with a maximum loan of up to RM50,000 for every unit in the longhouse.
“A RM70-million subsidy for hill paddy fertiliser will be provided to increase food supply and income of hill paddy farmers in Sabah and Sarawak. The programme will cover 65,000 hectares of crop areas in Sarawak and 11,000 hectares in Sabah,” he said in his Budget 2016 speech which carried the theme “Prospering the Rakyat”.
The Prime Minister also said that RM260 million would be provided to ensure price uniformity of selected items nationwide through the 1Price 1Sarawak and 1Price 1Sabah programmes.
Also, under Budget 2016, RM115 million would be allocated to the Special Programme for Bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak, such as for native customary rights, including mapping procedures and customary land surveys as well as for building native courts.
“For native customary rights, RM20 million is provided for land surveys in Sabah and RM30 million in Sarawak,” he said.
Budget 2016 also provides for enhancing services of 1Malaysia Mobile Clinics in the interior areas of Sabah and Sarawak, including procurement of new boats and vehicles.
The Sarawak Pan-Borneo Highway spanning 1,090 km is expected to be completed in 2021 with an estimated cost of RM16.1 billion.
Najib said that in Sabah, construction work on the 706-km highway from Sindumin to Tawau will commence in 2016 with an estimated cost of RM12.8 billion.
“I am pleased to announce that the Pan-Borneo Highway will be toll-free,” he said.-Bernama