KOTA KINABALU July 18, 2012: The State Legislative Assembly yesterday approved a supplementary supply bill of RM434.45 million to provide for additional expenditure for 2012.
Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan said the additional allocation was needed to cover expenditure for various purposes, including RM30 million for paying incentives to rubber smallholders across the state.
“This is for addressing the issue of price differences of rubber between Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia,” he said, adding that the farm gate rate offered in Sabah was lower due to higher cost of transportation, processing and direct purchase services.
He said the additional allocation would also provide for the state civil servants’ salary increment, where RM40.4 million had been allocated for paying the hike of seven to 13 per cent that came into effect since January 1.
Another RM38 million was required to pay for the state’s Water Bulk Supply Rate, which also included arrears owed to water concession holders.
A sum of RM28.7 million was also needed to pay for services hired to maintain water plants, and RM30 million for maintaining bridges including those under the municipal councils and district offices, he added.
Tawfiq informed the House that RM158.78 million from the supplementary supply allocation, of which RM120.25 million would be forked out from state reserves and RM38.53 million to be funded through federal loan, would be channeled to three ministries for implementing various projects.
He said a total of RM98.58 million coming from state reserves would be used for paying water concessionaires while RM14 million would be used for installing infrastructures for the Sandakan Education Hub.
Another RM7 million will be used for land acquisition purposes, including those involved in Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park projects; Sabah Railway Department project in Kinarut; and several road upgrading projects in Sandakan.
The remaining RM669,350 will be given for funding supply and delivery of locomotive turnables under the Railway Department project, which will also include the cost for removing utility lines to be affected by the project.
“The state government is also grateful that the federal government has approved a new loan for three infrastructure projects this year, where RM21 million has been provided in preparation for implementing these projects.
“The works that have been approved include replacing the transmission pipes from Limbawang to the station at Tamu Kayul, Beaufort; Keningau Water Project; and the upgrading of the integrated sewerage plant in Inanam.
“The remaining RM532,450 is for completing other projects under the Railway Department,” he said.
The state last year approved RM3.88 billion for its 2012 Budget, the highest yet recorded so far.
by Murib Morpi