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Thursday, 23 November 2017

(The Star) Strengthening state’s economy

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir has tabled the state’s 2018 budget involving an allocation of RM1.17bil with five main points of focus to ensure development projects and empowerment of the people’s economy continue to be implemented.

Themed “Rakyat Aman dan Jaya” (Peaceful and Successful People), the budget focused on driving the state’s development and economy, prospering the people, producing knowledgeable community and excellent generation, promoting self-sufficiency among the people and conserving sustainability of state resources.

Dr Zambry said of the total allocation, about RM755.6mil was meant for operating expenditure, while about RM421.3mil was for development expenditure.

He said over the past seven consecutive years, the state government had managed to maintain a surplus budget and proved that its financial management had been implemented in a wise and efficient manner.

“In fact, the National Finance Council meeting had also given several recognitions to Perak, which has been a good paymaster and has never asked for additional grant for operating expenditure over the seven-year period,” he said when tabling the budget at the State Assembly sitting on Tuesday.

Dr Zambry said an allocation of RM36.6mil had also been set aside to ensure smooth infrastructural development next year, compared to RM31.1mil this year.

He said this was for the construction of new roads and bridges, as well as street lights.

Through the Perak Agriculture Development Corporation, Dr Zambry said the state had also implemented the empowerment of self-sufficiency and cost of living allowance through the dividend from the people’s farm project.

“For 2018, a total of 4,190 participants will receive the dividend totalling almost RM13mil,” he said.

Dr Zambry also announced an allocation of RM2.4mil for the empowerment of Orang Asli community.

For education, he said a total of RM20.8mil will be allocated for the development and upgrade of safety aspects of SM Tahfiz Darul Ridzuan (SMTDR).

“The state government will also set aside RM25.2mil for the operation of SMTDR and three other state secondary religious schools,” he said.

As the state with the highest percentage of forest reserves in the peninsula, Dr Zambry said the state would allocate RM6mil for the sustainable management of the various forest resources and the development of support infrastructure.

“The allocation for flood mitigation and irrigation has also been increased from RM6.4mil this year to RM8.95mil next year.

“A total of RM11mil has been set aside for the management and conservation of rivers, as well as for upgrading of irrigation and drainage infrastructure,” he said.

To boost the development of sports, Dr Zambry said RM14.7mil would be allocated, in which RM10mil was for organising the 19th Malaysia Games (Sukma), Tourism Games (RM2.5mil), Mass Games (RM1.7mil), and Persons with Disabilities Games (RM500,000).

“I hope Perak will be the best host in the history of Sukma next year. I also hope that our athletes will win as many gold medals as possible and emerge as overall champion,” he said. – Bernama