10 local authorities in the red for 2022

Penguang Manggil replying to questions raised to his ministry at DUN on May 17, 2023. (Photo taken from Sarawak Public Communication Unit live streaming).

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, May 17: A total of 10 local authorities in Sarawak operated on a deficit budget in 2022.  

Public Health, Local Government and Housing Deputy Minister Datu Dr Penguang Manggil said all 26 local authorities in Sarawak are heavily dependent on government grants either from the Sarawak or Federal governments.  

This, he said, was to ensure the provision of optimum municipal services such as grass-cutting, maintenance, repair and lighting of public roads, places and buildings vested in and under the control of the local authorities.

The grant also support the supply of utilities, provision and maintenance of public drainage systems, provision and maintenance of waste disposal and treatment facilities as well as the general services stipulated under the Local Authorities Ordinance 1996.  

“Except for the city, municipal and a handful of district councils, the yields (assessment fees) collected from the various revenue streams are insufficient to meet the ever increasing costs in providing these services.

“In fact for 2022, 10 of the local authorities in Sarawak were operating on a deficit budget,” said Penguang when answering the questions raised by both Meradong assemblyman Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing (GPS-SUPP) and Tanjong Datu Assemblyman (GPS-PBB) Azizul Annuar Adenan at Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting here today.

Additionally, he also disclosed that total allocation of RM12.1 million was approved for both the operating and development expenditure of Meradong, Pakan and Julau district councils for the year 2023. — DayakDaily