RM11 bln to be spent on various projects in next two years — CM

Posted on : 06 Nov 2018  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (second left) arrives at the DUN Complex.

SARAWAK is committed to spending about RM11 billion in the next two years for the implementation of various projects including water and electricity supplies as well as road networks.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state is leveraging on a new financial model; namely via the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBoS) as well as opportunity in the capital market to source for competitive alternative funding.

“Utilisation of alternative fund raised through DBoS and capital market would allow the state to manage its cash flow more efficiently and at the same time, ensuring financial capacity to take care of its other responsibilities.

“The ability to leverage on these alternative sources of funding would ensure funds are readily available to support the development momentum of the state. In this way, the state could have the fiscal flexibility in strategising its development agenda and managing its cash flow to meet its expenditure and at the same time building adequate reserves to meet any economic uncertainties and for a sustainable future,” he said when tabling the 2019 State Budget.

He announced that to date, a total of 282 walkabout projects he announced during his visits to various places in Sarawak costing RM6.3 billion, had been approved for implementation.

Most of these projects are roads and bridges, water and electricity supplies, housing and social amenities aimed at providing better public facilities and amenities particularly to the rural community.

“Out of the 282 approved projects, 257 projects are in the pre-contract stage, 20 projects are under construction and five projects have been completed. Most of these projects are scheduled for completion by the end of 2020,” he said.

On Rural Transformation Projects (RTPs), he said to date a total sum of RM1.45 billion had been allocated to various implementing agencies to implement 4,812 projects throughout Sarawak.

“As at Aug 31, 2018, 2,496 projects or 52 per cent had been completed, while the remaining 2,316 projects or 48 per cent are still at various stages of implementation,” he said.

He also announced that the State Development Coordination Committee had been set up to monitor the progress of all high impact infrastructure and amenity projects.

“(This is) to ensure speedy and timely project implementation, and most importantly, exercising financial probity and in compliance with practices of good governance,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said the Sarawak government had allocated RM2.8 billion for water-stress areas to be implemented next two years.

He informed there are nine packages for this, of which works will be awarded next January or February.

“By 2020, we should be able to resolve the water stress areas,” he said.

He also said a consultant had come up with a masterplan for the Sarawak water grid, which is to cost RM7 billion.

For electricity, he said the previous federal government did a good job under the National Key Results Area (NKRA) 2009-2016 through the rural electrification project, which led to 91 per cent of rural areas in Sarawak enjoying electricity.

He said such effort is being completed under Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares) to bring up the coverage to at least 97 per cent.

“The total coverage will be in 2025. That is why the state government is coming up with RM2.37 billion to make sure we are able to do it. This is real tough for agencies under my ministry to deliver.

“The state government is supporting by providing extra manpower,” he said.