The Sabah State Government tabled a RM4.6 billion budget for next year, a 13 percent increase from RM 4.088 billion in 2013.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman said the state budget for 2014 is the largest-ever allocation in Sabah’s 50-year history, which is aimed at bringing integrated and balanced urban-rural development.
“This budget will fast-track development of public infrastructure, boost human capital, enhance youth development programmes and accelerate socio-economic growth to be enjoyed by people from all walks of life,” he said after tabling the 2014 state budget at the State Legislative Assembly yesterday.
“Clearly, the BN government has set a strong foundation for Sabah’s advancement; the State’s GDP has grown by leaps and bounds in the past five decades and now stands at RM 44.4 billion from only RM 602 million in 1962,”he said.
Furthermore, Musa said the State economy is expected to grow by 4 to 5 percent in 2014 amid growing optimism of the global economy.
“In the state budget for 2014, the government has allocated RM 1583.65 million for the development of key infrastructure and public amenities,” he said.
Musa also revealed RM 347 million has been set aside for the construction and maintenance of better quality roads, replacing old bridges, traffic management and stabilization of slopes.
“Ensuring clean, safe drinking water has always been our top priority and for this purpose, the state government has channeled RM 627.92 million to upgrade the quality of the state’s water supply infrastructure and services which involve the replacement of old pipes, emergency works and reduction in non-revenue water, “he added.
In the same vein, Musa said the government has channeled RM 45.31 million for the upgrading of the sewerage system. Additionally, an estimated RM 24 million is reserved for the construction of jetties, piers and fish landing platforms for the local fishing communities. Among others, Musa added RM 37.45million has been allocated for improving the railway services and facilities, adding another RM 45.74 million has been reserved for flood mitigation schemes throughout the state.
“The state budget extends assistance to the manufacturing sector with an estimated RM 88.38 million for the development of key infrastructure and better logistics to improve competitiveness and productivity of Sabah’s existing industrial parks, including Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKiP); Lahad Datu and Sandakan Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) and the Sandakan Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC),” he added.
For the agriculture sector, Musa said the government has pledged RM 472.99 million to boost productivity, profitability, competitiveness and development of the industry to ensure the state’s self-sufficiency in food production.
In addition, Musa added the state budget also focuses on promoting the growth and rapid development of Sabah’s tourism sector.
“The tourism sector will continue to play a major role in the state economy in 2014 and is expecting 3.4 million tourist arrivals, which will generate revenues totaling RM 6.277 billion, “he said, adding the state will provide another RM 223. 99 million to assist the tourism industry attract more tourists to the state
Meanwhile, Musa said the state government affirmed the state government’s commitment in fighting poverty, and has allocated RM 178.14 million for various poverty eradication programmes in the state.