S’wak Budget 2019: RM6.049 bln to hasten pace of rural devt

Posted on : 05 Nov 2018  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari shows to the media his Budget 2019 speech during his arrival at the State Legislative Assembly today. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: The state government is determined to continue investing in a range of initiatives to ensure that the on-going provision of vital services will not only benefit those in the urban areas, but also those in the rural areas.

In this regard, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said to hasten the pace of rural development, a total sum of RM6.049 billion is proposed in 2019 State Budget.

He revealed that a total of RM2.350 billion from that amount will be set aside for the implementation of RM1.535 billion for walkabout projects, RM500 million for Rural Transformation Projects (RTP), RM243 million for Minor Rural Projects and RM72 million for ‘Program Penambahbaikan Rumah Miskin Sarawak’ (PPRMS).

“The state is investing in more infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and jetties to further improve its connectivity. For this purpose, a sum of RM1.105 billion will be allocated for the implementation of various projects,” said Abang Johari when announcing the State Budget 2019 during State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting this morning.

Among the 19 infrastructure projects revealed by Abang Johari included Jalan Sg Bidut/Kpg Tutus/Kpg Sebedil/Kpg Bungan Kecil; road from Sibu Jaya to Jalan Kong Yit Khim; construction of Pasai Siong Hilir Road; Jalan Ulu Tubai heading to Mentawai/Gunung Buda; and the construction of road from Marudi to Mulu via Long Terawan.

“In addition, the state will also build four more bridges for the benefit of our people, namely Muara Lassa Bridge in Mukah, Batang Rambungan Bridge in Lundu, Bintulu-Jepak Bridge crossing Kuala Kemena in Bintulu, and Batang Lupar Bridge in Samarahan/Betong,” he disclosed.

The coverage of water supply in the state, along with the continuous development of the agriculture sector, were some of the initiative highlighted in the proposed Budget.

In addressing the water supply issues, Abang Johari revealed that the state government will continue to extend coverage of water supply especially to the rural population.

“A sum of RM190 million has been proposed in 2019 for the implementation of various water supply projects,” he announced.

Among the projects mentioned, these included the water supply from Kota Samarahan to Sebuyau, Samarahan, pipeline from Assyakirin Reservoir to Nyabau Water Treatment Plant Intake, Bau-Lundu-Sematan Regional Water Supply, Programme Pipe Renewal and Dalat Water Supply- Phase II.

On the agriculture sector, Abang Johari said that the state aims to become a net exporter of agricultural produce and products to meet the demand of both the domestic and global markets.

“This vision could be achieved by transforming agriculture into a modern, competitive and sustainable sector, capable of generating new innovative businesses and high value employment opportunities.

“The agriculture sector needs to be modernised and commercialised through leveraging on advanced technologies.”

As such, a sum of RM315 million has been allocated for 2019, which among others, provide for venture capital programme, crop industry development, rural development programmes and inland fishery, aquaculture, livestock and veterinary related projects.

The proposed allocation will also be provided for agriculture education and promotion and mechanisation and agricultural infrastructure.