DCCI applauds RM4.54 bln 2023 State Budget allocation for rural development


Libat Langub

KUCHING (Nov 22): The Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has applauded the proposed RM4.540 billion allocated in the Sarawak State Budget 2023 for development in rural areas.

In a statement, DCCI secretary-general Libat Langub said the amount constituted around 60 per cent of the development expenditure estimates in the budget, as tabled in State Legislative Assembly (DUN) yesterday.

“It is undeniable that there are many rural areas and villages still lacking in basic infrastructures, such as good roads, clean water, electricity and telecommunication and internet connectivity,” said Libat.

He also commended Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg for being committed to achieve 100 per cent coverage for water and electricity supply by 2030.

The RM26 million allocated for electricity supply projects for next year is welcomed as it will greatly enhance the socioeconomic status of the people in rural areas, he said.

“DCCI also welcomes the Premier’s statement that various initiatives will continue to be implemented to ensure business continuity, such as provision of soft loans, interest subsidy, financial assistance for start-ups, product developments, capacity building, e-Commerce, promotion and marketing,” he said.

Moreover, Libat said the chamber was of the view that the special relief fund, targeted relief and recovery facility (TRRF) and Penjana Tourism Fund (PTF), with an allocation of RM18 million, will support entrepreneurs in their business undertakings.

Other financial assistance included Sarawak micro credit scheme, and small and medium industries financing scheme with a total of RM14 million allocated.

Libat also urged the state government to aggressively promote the financial incentives among Bumiputera entrepreneurs, including those residing in rural areas so that the financial assistance will reach its intended recipients.

He said chamber members, which included rural entrepreneurs with technical skills and graduates, will be able to benefit from the proposed RM7 million budget to encourage entrepreneurship.

According to him, the RM5 million allocated under the ‘Go Digital Programme’ to develop digital savvy small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is insufficient.

“Digital marketing, for example, has now become a game changer and it is indispensable and fundamental for business successes.

“As such, we urge the Premier to substantially increase the said allocation for digital programme,” said Libat.