JOHOR targets to increase the revenue of cooperatives in the state from RM887.36mil now to RM1.33bil by the year 2021, said state Entrepreneur Development, Cooperative, Creative Economy and Information Committee chairman Sheikh Umar Ali.
He said this could be achieved with the increase in the number of cooperatives in Johor.
He said at the end of 2017, there were 1,370 cooperatives in the state and the number would increase to 2,040 by the year 2021.
Sheikh Umar said membership in cooperatives was also expected to reach 518,056 members within the next three years, from 465,519 members as of last year with shares and fees totalling RM305.07mil in 2017 to reach RM358.07mil.
“The state government has implemented several initiatives to boost earnings of cooperatives and has several other initiatives in the pipeline,” he said.
Sheikh Umar said this in his reply to a question from Datuk Zahari Sarip (BN-Buluh Kasap) on the state government’s efforts to boost cooperative development.
He said the government has been working closely with the Johor branch of the Cooperative Commission of Malaysia for the Johor Cooperative Development Strategic Plan 2017-2021.
Sheikh Umar said the plan focused on core sectors, namely financial services, retail and wholesale, real estate and construction industry, tourism, healthcare, agriculture and agro-based industry and plantation.
“We will also assist cooperatives expand their business portfolios by allocating grants of up to RM300,000 for each cooperative,” he said.
Sheikh Umar said in 2015, 17 cooperatives had received RM500,000 in grants, with nine and 17 cooperatives receiving RM460,000 and RM960,000 in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
He said 71 cooperatives in Johor had received RM91.37mil in loans as working capital from 2015 to 2017, with a 20-year payment term.
Sheikh Umar said 25 cooperatives had received RM15.34mil in capital working loans in 2015, 33 (RM74.39mil) in 2016 and 13 (RM1.64mil) last year.
Meanwhile, Johor Work, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee chairman Mazlan Bujang said the Pakatan Harapan state government is committed to continue with the Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) project.
He said the state government would hold meetings with the Federal Government next week on the project, including costing.
He said the project was estimated to cost RM2.5bil by then Barisan Nasional Federal Government, with funding to come from the Federal Government.
Mazlan said this in reply to a question from state Opposition leader Datuk Hasni Mohammad (BN-Benut) who suggested the state government starts with the Johor Baru-Kota Iskandar route for IMBRT.
“We will consider all suggestions for the projects,” he said.
Hasni said the IMBRT would create economic spillover and job opportunities in Iskandar Malaysia.
The others are the Johor Baru-Skudai and Johor Baru-Tebrau routes.
Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) is tasked with undertaking the project which focuses on development planning, land acquisition, designs of stations and public engagements.
The project is to cater to the transportation needs of the population in Iskandar Malaysia which is expected to reach three million in 2025, from 1.5 million when Iskandar Malaysia was established on Nov 4, 2006.
Irda is looking at the BRT system in Brisbane, Australia, as the city shares similar features with Johor Baru and Iskandar Malaysia in terms of distribution of population.
The project will cover almost 90% of Iskandar Malaysia with over 300km routes, of which 50km are trunk routes and the remaining feeder routes.
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