KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor welcomes the National 2021 Budget as a decisive one aimed at addressing the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic across all sectors of the community and economy.
While the first focus of RM322.5 billion 2021 Budget, which was the biggest in the country’s history was the fight against Covid-19, he was glad that it was also an expansionary one that took into account other sectors to ensure the economy recovers strongly.
The National 2021 Budget will add more to the success of the Government’s RM305 billion economic stimulus initiatives that has started since May, he said adding that he was hopeful it will focus on growing the economy to ensure the rakyat’s prosperity, business continuity and increase economic resilience.
He noted that the proposed plan to increase the Bantuan Sara Hidup to be renamed Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat, which is a targeted assistance system would be able to help lessen the people’s burden.
Thanking the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Finance Minster Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Azis, Hajiji was glad to note that the Federal Government has given attention to Sabah’s needs.
Under the 2021 Budget, Sabah has been allocated RM5.1 billion for infrastructure development apart from RM3.8 billion for the continuation of the Pan Borneo project and other packages.
“This proves the Federal Government has Sabah’s interest close at heart,” he said.
Among the other goodies for Sabah:
• RM1,000 Additional Special Grant for traders, which would also be extended to taxi drivers, e-hailing, hired cars and tour guides in Sabah to help cushion the dip in tourist arrivals.
• Mobile bank service to be extended to Sabah to facilitate distribution of government assistance to the rural folks
• RM41 million for the Native Customary Rights Programme in order to preserve the native rights in Sabah
• Allocation for the Essential Goods Distribution, LPG and Community Drumming Programme that will be extended to 34 new areas including in Sabah increased to RM200 million
• RM100 million for regional investment authority including Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (Sedia)
The Chief Minister was also elated to see the hill padi subsidy being revived with RM40 million allocated for next year.
It will benefit nearly 10,000 padi planters in Sabah working on an estimated 7,000 ha of hill padi fields.
He also hoped Sabah’s security especially at the Esszone through Esscom would also be boosted with the allocation of RM16 billion to the Defense Ministry and RM17 billion to the Home Ministry.
He assured the State Government will work closely together with its Federal counterparts to ensure the National 2021 Budget will be successfully implemented.-BorneoGazette