Budget shifts focus to meet current challenges

Looking at DBKL’s 2021 Budget are (from left) DBKL Project Implementation executive director Azmi Abdul Hamid, Socio-Economic Development executive director Anwar Mohd Zain, Planning executive director Sulaiman Mohamed and Mahadi.

UNEXPECTED expenditure due to the Covid-19 pandemic has forced Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to review this year’s budget and adjust its expenditure accordingly for 2021.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah said DBKL saw an RM800mil drop in revenue this year, from a projected revenue of RM2.52bil, due to the pandemic and subsequent movement control order.

“We allowed for payment waivers and other discounts to Kuala Lumpur residents and this affected our initial projected revenue.

“There were also unplanned costs, such as disinfection exercises and we had to tweak our 2020 budget, ” he said when announcing DBKL’s 2021 budget yesterday.

In June, DBKL allocated RM92mil to assist the people during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The amount is an additional sum from DBKL’s original projected expenditure of RM2.29bil announced last December.

The allocation was used to assist hawkers and petty traders, residents of public housing, the homeless as well as frontliners.

The DBKL aid included a one-off RM500 incentive to licensed traders in Kuala Lumpur as well as rent exemption for residents of its People’s Housing Projects (PPR) and the National Economic Action Council (PPR-MTEN) housing projects.

For Budget 2021, DBKL foresees revenue estimates dropping by over half-a-billion ringgit compared to this year, said Mahadi.

DBKL estimated next year’s revenue collection to be RM1.96bil, which is RM559mil lower than 2020’s projected revenue of RM2.52bil.

“We cannot predict how the pandemic will affect the economy and city residents in future, so the budget will be revised if necessary, depending on the situation, ” he said, adding that RM8.7mil had been set aside for sanitation and other health programmes.

According to DBKL’s 2021 budget, the total expected expenditure is RM2.65bil with the bulk expenses going towards management costs totalling RM1.76bil.

The management expenditure is divided into five components — services and supplies at RM1.103bil (62.6%), emoluments at RM479mil (27.2%), inventories and grants at RM98.7mil (5.6%), overtime claims at RM60.4mil (3.4%) and other expenditures RM21.2mil (1.2%).

DBKL’s development expenditure next year is expected to be RM624mil as well as federal-funded developments at RM267.6mil.

The deficit of RM421.5mil will be financed by government grants worth RM267.64mil and DBKL’s own reserves.

Upcoming projects

A large part of the expenditure will go towards addressing flash floods in the city and other public concerns on the overall infrastructure in Kuala Lumpur.

About RM130mil will be allocated as part of the Flood Mitigation Masterplan 2017 with 23 projects to be implemented by DBKL.

City folk can also look forward to a new council home project being built in Jalan Selimang, Cheras costing RM200mil.

This is on top of the soon to be completed council home project in Kampung Sungai Udang, Segambut that will eat up RM30mil of the expenditure.

Once again, waste management makes up a large portion of the expenditure with an allocation of RM233mil.

This includes tipping fees at the Bukit Tagar and Taman Beringin landfills as well as general cleaning works.

In response to the difficulties faced by the B40 group during the pandemic, RM26.6mil has been allocated for the Federal Territories Ministry’s Wilayah Cakna programme.

To improve the economy of Kuala Lumpur hawkers, DBKL plans to continue upgrading Pasar Chow Kit (RM25mil), redevelop hawker centres (RM3.9mil) and the ongoing Bazaria Genting Klang (RM8mil) development.

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