Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said that Budget 2021 paid attention to Sabah’s needs, including RM5.1bil allocated for infrastructure development and RM3.bil to continue the Pan-Borneo highway project.
Among the other goodies was a RM1,000 special grant for traders, which could also be extended to taxi and e-hailing drivers, hired cars and tour guides in Sabah to help cushion the dip in tourist arrivals, he noted.
In the Budget 2021 proposal tabled in Parliament earlier Friday (Nov 6), Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz also announced that a mobile banking service would be extended to Sabah to facilitate the distribution of government assistance to those living in rural areas.
He also proposed RM41mil for the Native Customary Rights Programme in order to preserve such rights in Sabah.
He also announced that the allocation for the Essential Goods Distribution, LPG and Community Drumming Programme would be increased to RM200mil, and extended to 34 new areas including those in Sabah.
Also proposed was RM100mil for regional investment authorities, which would include the Sabah Economic and Investment Authority (Sedia).
Hajiji said that he was very happy to see the hill padi subsidy being revived, with RM40mil allocated for next year.
He said it would benefit nearly 10,000 padi planters in Sabah working on an estimated 7,000ha of hill padi fields.