KUALA LUMPUR: In tandem with Malaysia’s effort to become a high-income and developed nation by 2020, the federal government gives main priority to Sarawak development to improve the economic and social well-being.
In a statement today, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said, Budget 2016 has allocated RM29.2 billion for Sarawak and Sabah development programmes, including the Pan Borneo Highway.
“The 1,089-kilometre (km) toll-free highway will provide better connectivity and close the gap between urban and rural areas in Sarawak.
“Moreover, the 70,000 sq km of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy will provide 1.6 million additional jobs in the industrial area,” it said.
The ministry said to enhance the well-being of the rakyat in Sarawak, the federal government provided Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia to 735,817 recipients amounting RM549.84 million in 2016.
Over the last five years, Sarawak economy registered a positive growth and has made a great contribution to the Malaysian economy, it said.
“Sarawak’s gross domestic product recorded a steady growth of 10 per cent since 2010, mainly contributed by the services, manufacturing, mining and quarrying and agriculture industry. The expansion of Sarawak economy is underpinned by huge capital investments amounting to RM44.6 billion since 2011 until March 2016,” it said.
The MOF said Sarawak has also received large allocation from federal government to further develop the economy.
It said from 2010 until 2014, Sarawak received RM57 billion, consisting of operating and development expenditure and grant.
Budget 2016 has allocated RM29.2 billion for Sarawak and Sabah development programme including Pan Borneo Highway, it said.
The ministry today held a focus group meeting in Kuching chaired by Deputy Finance Minister II, Datuk Lee Chee Leong, to discuss significant issues and obtain views as well as recommendations for Budget 2017 consideration.
The meeting involved various stakeholders including federal agencies, Sarawak state agencies and statutory bodies, academia as well as Sarawak non-government organisations. – Bernama