Sarawak poised to collect over RM11bil in 2023

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg tabling the state budget in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly on Monday (Nov 21). - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak is poised to collect a record high revenue of RM11.035bil next year, reflecting the state government's achievements in boosting the state coffers, says Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Sarawak Premier said tax revenue totalling RM5.246bil was projected to account for 48% of the total expected revenue, including RM3.2bil from state sales tax on petroleum products.

He said that non-tax revenue was estimated at RM5.498bil, including RM2.335bil from cash compensation in lieu of oil and gas rights.

In view of this, Abang Johari tabled a surplus state budget of RM10.797bil for next year.

"The 2023 state budget is expected to generate a surplus of RM238mil. It will continue to be an expansionary budget that invests heavily in infrastructure and places the wellbeing of the rakyat at its centrepiece," he told the Sarawak Legislative Assembly on Monday (Nov 21).

Abang Johari said RM3.997bil would be allocated for operating expenditure while RM7.506bil was proposed for development expenditure, of which RM4.54bil will be for rural development.

Major allocations include RM1.12bil to intensify infrastructure development such as roads and bridges, ports and riverine infrastructure, particularly in the rural areas; RM420mil for rural transformation programmes; RM500mil for "projek rakyat" (people-centric projects); and RM900mil for the Sarawak water supply grid programme for stressed areas.

"This budget is a foundation for Sarawak's future; a financially responsible plan that seeks to make our state safer, more secure, more resilient and more prosperous," Abang Johari said.

He said Sarawak's strength was its openness to diversity and multiculturalism, adding that the state's future depended on its social foundation of tolerance.

"Let us turn our social and natural capital into an advantage. That is why the investments we are putting in under the state budget are tailored to align with the vision of making Sarawak an economic powerhouse that will drive the whole country forward," he said.

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