MBSP budget focuses on building green and clean city

Azhar (front row, fourth from right) and councillors showing the MBSP budget 2023 handbook after the full council meeting.

THERE are 10 core principles in the Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) budget 2023 with green development and clean environment getting priority, said mayor Datuk Azhar Arshad.

Under the green development and clean environment principle, RM123.58mil has been allocated for cleaning and solid waste disposal.

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“The expenses include tipping fees for garbage disposal at the Pulau Burung landfill amounting to RM15.5mil and garbage removal and transport fees at the Ampang Jajar Transfer Station amounting to RM4.8mil,” said Azhar.

“Sustainable solid waste management service fees will amount to RM380,000, with RM25,000 for the disposal of ewaste,” he said at a full council meeting at MBSP headquarters in Bukit Mertajam.

A total of RM95.78mil has been allocated to deal with flooding.

“This is also under the principle of green development and clean environment.

“A total of RM7.8mil will cover the maintenance of monsoon drains and reservoirs, while RM1.2mil will be used for the upkeep of pump houses.

“MBSP also allocated RM500,000 to upgrade the pump houses while RM300,000 will go towards constructing drains,” said Azhar.

“In addition to using the MBSP allocation, projects for flood mitigation will also tap into the RM13.67mil of drainage contribution money to overcome the flood problems in Seberang Prai as well as prevent property damage,” he added.

The other core principles in next year’s budget are safe environment (about RM36mil), quality infrastructure (RM20mil), healthy lifestyle (RM12mil), new technology (nearly RM14mil), competitive urban economy (RM26mil), culture and heritage (RM4mil), resilient and liveable city (RM95mil), community engagement (RM6mil) and inclusive and equitable urban development (RM16mil).

MBSP proposed a budget with a deficit of RM42.53mil for next year.

The total revenue projection for 2023 is RM314.6mil compared to RM310.13mil in 2022. This is an increase of RM4.47mil or 1.4%.

“Just like in previous years, assessment taxes are the main contributor to our revenue, forming about RM236mil or 75% of the whole revenue projected for next year,” said Azhar.

“The estimated tax revenue is based on the number of active property holdings in 2022, the expected addition of new property holdings in 2023 and property renovations based on floor area,” he explained.

He said the council also proposed RM357.13mil projected expenditure that would consists of management expenses (RM333.05mil), development expenditure (RM12.83mil) and capital assets (RM11.25mil).

The theme for the MBSP budget 2023 is “A liveable city”.

“MBSP performs tasks guided by the concepts of trust, correctness and speed as we wish to provide excellent services to the people in Seberang Prai.

“For 2023, we used the priority- based budgeting approach taking into account gender-responsive and participatory budgeting methodology,” said Azhar.

He said the city council was committed to controlling its deficit proposed for 2023.

“The council’s financial flow is sufficient to support the proposed deficit.

“We will manage finances prudently to ensure value for money spent with the principle of doing more with less and adopting automation of work processes without affecting performance, productivity and service quality.

“Let’s work together to make Seberang Prai an aspiring city of tomorrow,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Penang Island City Council’s (MBPP) budget for 2023 was initiated based on four strategic objectives to achieve its aspirations to build a smart, liveable and peaceful city.

MBPP mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said the four objectives were creating balanced planning between the development and environmental sectors; stimulating socio-economic growth; empowering resilient infrastructure; and strengthening the achievement framework for an intelligent city.

“Some industrial and community segments are more affected by the economic and climate crisis.

“The council will take steps to build a new ecosystem by encouraging digital infrastructure.

“The council expects that 2023 will be very challenging as a result of efforts to implement a recovery programme in addition to managing prudent finances and making the city habitable,” he said.

The budget is aligned with MBPP’s efforts in localising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially the SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and Penang 2030 vision.

The theme of the MBPP budget 2023 is “Urban liveability and sustainability” based on the worldwide vision that a city needs to thrive in the digital era.

“Budget 2023 is MBPP’s ongoing commitment to maintain the council’s excellence,” said Yew.

“The council recorded a surplus of RM1.57mil in 2020; and RM31.93mil in 2021 (which has not been audited),” he said.

The proposed MBPP budget runs on a deficit of RM32.88mil.

“The 2023 budget will involve an estimated revenue of RM372.29mil compared to an estimated expenditure of RM405.17mil.

“The estimated revenue will mainly come from the expected tax revenue of about RM258mil or 69% of the total revenue.

“The estimated expenditure involves managing expenses (RM360.54mil) and development expenses (RM44.63mil),” said Yew.

About RM154mil was allocated for the five main focus areas for budget 2023, which are cleaner city (RM71mil), greener city (RM15mil), mobility (RM16mil), smart governance (RM34mil) and economy (RM17mil).

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