SUNGAI ASAP (BELAGA): Budget 2023 will continue to focus on the people’s welfare agenda, especially in terms of income and social protection.
Deputy Minister of Finance Datuk Indera Indera Mohd Shahar Abdullah said the budget proposals which will tabled on Oct 7 is themed ‘Strengthening Recovery, Facilitating Reforms Towards Sustainable Socio-Economic Resilience of Keluarga Malaysia.”
According to him, in Budget 2022, Sabah and Sarawak received 60 per cent of the rural development allocation and 85 per cent of the allocation for upgrading poor schools in addition to additional funds of RM500 million to implement small-scale projects.
This provision, he said, clearly contradicts the claim that the federal government has neglected or marginalised the states.
On the additional funds of RM500 million, said it was for road maintenance and tourism infrastructure, rural social facility improvements, health infrastructure improvements, projects at the local authority level as well as the provision of micro credit funds specifically for small businesses and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Sabah and Sarawak.
“The two states are the largest recipients of the federal government’s annual grant to the state governments with a total allocation of RM2.43 billion namely RM1.16 billion for Sabah and RM1.27 billion for Sarawak,” he said at the Pemimpin Bersama Rakyat event at Uma Ukit, here yesterday.
He further explained that almost RM1.8 billion of the total allocation of RM8.2 billion or more than 20 per cent was allocated under Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia for the benefit of approximately RM1.7 million recipients in Sabah and Sarawak.
The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic caused the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to shrink by 5.6 per cent in 2020 with a loss of revenue of RM2.4 billion per day due to Movement Control Order 1.0, RM600 million per day during MCO 2.0 and RM1 billion a day (MCO 3.0).
Indera added that it also inhibited cross-border trade and economic and business activities, as well as affected the sources of income for various parties, individuals and industries.
He said the government introduced various aid and economic stimulus packages to deal with the economic crisis.
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