JOHOR BARU: Johor is not on the verge of bankruptcy and is in fact expecting a surplus budget by the end of the year, Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said.
Ghani said the state’s financial situation was under control and up to November, records already showed a surplus of RM153.99mil, adding that when the state government closes its financial records at the end of December, an estimated surplus of RM98.28mil was expected.
The Mentri Besar was commenting on Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Tengku Putera Tengku Awang’s statement at the Parliament on Wednesday that Johor topped the states with the highest deficit.
“Up to Dec 31 last year, Johor had a financial deficit of RM706.56mil, with RM26.9mil in assets and RM787.46mil in liabilities.
“The liabilities were debts to contractors and suppliers (RM148.6mil), general deposits (RM126.85mil) and outstanding loan payments to the Federal Government (RM512.01mil),” said Abdul Ghani.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of yesterday’s state assembly, Ghani said although there was a deficit, the situation was still under control through other state asset sources worth RM1.45bil.
These assets were investments in the Tabung Amanah Warisan Johor and subsidiaries (RM394.07mil), outstanding uncollected revenues (RM299.21mil) and claimable loans from semi-government bodies and subsidiaries (RM762.41mil).
“This means there are more assets than liabilities, and this is supported by the Auditor-General in his report for 2003’s account stating that Johor’s financial status was controlled, whereby assets owned were still more than state debts,” said Ghani.
He said the debts to the Federal Government totalled RM512.01mil, of which RM46.93mil was through Johor Corporation, SAJ Holdings (RM426.57mil), low cost housing projects (RM23.36mil) and other loans (RM15.15mil).
Did you find this article insightful?