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By Karen Bong and Ashley Sim
KUCHING, Aug 11: Sarawak will still see positive revenue from the State Sales Tax (SST) this year despite a drop in crude oil prices to USD95 a barrel.
Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said there is light at the end of the tunnel as the Sarawak government is watching the oil prices closely, which had dropped to USD95 for two days now after hovering between USD100 and USD110 per barrel.
“But whatever it is, Sarawak will have positive revenue because our budget is based on USD70 per barrel. So there is an increase in revenue from SST,” he said when addressing the Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Annual Dinner and Excellence Awards 2022 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) last night.
He emphasised that if Sarawak was to reduce its spending, it will affect the State’s target of six to eight per cent growth until 2030.
“As I have mentioned in the last budget, a total of RM64 billion will need to be injected into the economy to generate six to eight per cent growth by 2030 which must be maintained in order to be on track to become a developed State by 2030,” he added.
As Sarawak charts its way towards recovery post-pandemic, Abang Johari pointed out that global collaborations to slow down climate change by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and the production of green fuel have also given Sarawak new prospects to generate the economy away from the traditional economy.
“The government is undertaking serious efforts towards developing a hydrogen economy and working towards carbon capture, utilisation and storage and now we are collaborating with Petronas to produce the sustainable aviation fuel or biofuel from algae and this will be another renewable energy.
“Green economy is our target utilising our various renewable energy resources. In fact, Sarawak has the lowest energy tariff in the region and this will attract investments and in turn spur other sectors as investors will need housing and other facilities and that’s where Sheda will come in to facilitate the government in providing these facilities,” he said.
Abang Johari also mentioned that Sarawak has a clear agenda which has resulted in the Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 which to a certain extent tries to mitigate economic pressure including in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
“With various policies and assistance in place, we hope to not only provide houses to people but to create a sustainable future,” he said.
Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Deputy Minister of Local Government Michael Tiang, Sheda president Augustine Wong and organising chairman of the Sheda Excellence Awards Dato Ir Sr Alex Ting were among those present. — DayakDaily