JOHOR BARU: The Government is in the midst of setting up another seven Urban Transformation Centres (UTC) nationwide at a cost of RM200mil to complement the 10 centres in existence around the country.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the UTCs were a hit as last year, 9.6mil visited these centres where government and state agencies are housed.
In 2013, six million people visited the UTCs throughout the country.
Ahmad said that out of the seven being developed this year, three would be mini UTCs, and would be located in Kedah, Sabah and Sarawak.
“The budget is roughly about RM200mil for all the seven UTCs,” he said, adding that the new UTCs were being built in Negeri Sembilan, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu.
Ahmad said the Immigration Department and National Registration Department would continue to be the most popular agencies frequented by the public.
“Our target is to ensure that we have a UTC in each state.
“However, we will set up more as we have the budget.
“A mini UTC is about RM7mil while the bigger UTCs cost between RM25mil to RM45mil,” he said, adding that the UTCs were not new buildings but existing buildings identified by the state for the project and were then refurbished.
He was speaking to reporters after a working visit to the Johor Baru UTC at Galeria Kotaraya, which has so far handled 760,000 people since it opened middle of last year.
Ahmad said the number of visitors to the centres increased during the school holidays and weekends.
“A visitor told me that they had to wait for two hours at the Immigration office,” he said, adding that they would have to find ways to help ease the huge traffic during peak periods.
Ahmad added that the UTC in Johor, which houses 31 agencies, also recorded RM255mil in transactions for various government and state government related payments from the public.
The present operational UTCs are in Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Pahang, Kedah, Sabah, Sarawak and Johor while the mini UTCs are in Sentul and Keramat.