Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bajet Sarawak 2012

State proposes RM3.9bil budget


KUCHING: The Sarawak government has proposed a budget of RM3.964bil for next year — one of the biggest ever for the state — with exactly 70% of the sum allocated for development purposes and the remainder for operating expenditure. More than a development biased budget, it will also be a surplus budget, yielding a projected RM79mil surplus, against an estimated total revenue of RM4.043bil.
Chief Minister and state Finance Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who tabled the Supply (2012) Bill, 2011 at the State Legislative Assembly complex here yesterday, also said the state economy should grow by 5% next year.

Taib said the growth estimate was supported by strong domestic demand and economic activities generated by on-going 10th Malaysia Plan and Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy (SCORE) projects.
  All ears: Reporters following the reading of the State Budget 2012 by Taib at the State Legislative Assembly in Kuching yesterday. — ANDRE OLIVEIRO / The Star
The projected “healthy” growth figures were also strongly attributed to the surging economies of China and India, which are estimated to hit almost 10% growth in the year ahead.
Taib began his one-hour-20-minute tabling of the budget with cautious optimism. He told the august House that the world economy had weakened and confidence had fallen.
“The World Economic Outlook Report projected a moderate growth of just four per cent globally for this year. The growth in major advanced economies for 2012 is forecasted at just 1.9%,” he said.
The US, Japan and European Union were grappling with financial instability, he said, but then highlighted China’s economy would continue to surge at 9% next year, while India’s should record 7.8%.
Moving on to Sarawak’s 2012 outlook, the Finance Minister said growth would be underpinned by the sustained expansion of private demand and strong exports of commodities arising from high prices and favourable regional trade.
Private consumption, he noted, should hit a high of 7.3% growth next year, while private investment should expand by 8%.
The construction and plantations industry would expand the fastest, and with both spurring the job creation market by almost double digit percentage growths.
“The state government will ensure that all the projects under the 10th MP and those under SCORE will take off, implemented timely and smoothly. We recognise that the speed of implementation is crucial to cushion the impact of external economic slow-down,” Taib said.
Taib also said SCORE’s implementation would stimulate growth for the next 20 years, and provide a multiplier effect to the state economy.
Midway through his speech, Taib highlighted five keys to the planning of the budget. He said focus would be on upgrading human resources and rural infrastructure.
He also placed particular emphasis on “inducing the private sector as the main engine of growth”, which would lift the burden on the government’s role.
In closing, he noted the state’s projected biggest revenue sources were still oil and gas (RM1.5bil) and forestry (RM509mil).
Smaller sources are land premium collection (RM290mil) and import and excise duties compensations (RM120mil).
“A healthy level of reserve is essential to provide fiscal flexibility in time of economic difficulties. With our strong financial position, the state was able to ride through steadily over a series of global economic crises over the past decades.”

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