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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Oct 12: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today has approved a Sarawak Budget 2022 totalling RM10.646 billion, which will incur a deficit of RM610 million.
He explained that the State revenue for the year 2022 is projected at RM10.036 billion, which explains why the Sarawak Budget 2022 is expected to incur a deficit of RM610 million.
“It is critical at this juncture, given the devastating impacts of Covid-19 pandemic to the State economy and the livelihood of the people that led the State government to embark into fiscal expansionary policy to boost productivity and revive the economy,” he said at a press conference after a Special Budget Meeting with Sarawakian lawmakers held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) today.
The Sarawak Budget 2022 is the first ever State budget which was not tabled in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) due to the ongoing Emergency.
However, the chief minister was given the power to approve the State Budget as stipulated in Section 11 of the current Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021.
Abang Johari further disclosed that RM4.046 billion will be allocated for operating expenditure while RM6.6 billion will be allocated for development to finance the implementation of various development programmes and projects.
The operating expenditure of RM4.046 billion in 2022 comprises personnel emoluments (RM905 million); supplies and services (RM1.333 billion); grants and fixed payments which includes operating grants to Statutory Bodies and local authorities, servicing of public debts and payments of gratuities, pensions, scholarships, welfare and financial assistances (RM1.561 billion); procurement of assets (RM89 million) and other operating expenses (RM158 million).
For the Development Expenditure Estimates under Sarawak Budget 2022, a sum of RM7.509 billion will be provided for economic sector (RM5.371 billion), social sector (RM1.905 billion) and general administration sector such as construction of government offices and quarters as well as ICT and digital projects (RM233 million).
On the State’s estimated revenue for the year 2022 projected at RM10.036 billion, RM4.907 billion or 49 per cent comes from tax revenue including State Sales Tax (SST) worth RM3.162 billion on crude oil, liquefied natural gas and other petroleum products.
The Sarawak Budget, themed ‘United in Building a Resilient, Inclusive and Progressive Society’, is framed across eight strategic thrusts namely Protecting Lives and Livelihoods, Steering Economic Recovery, Facilitating and Sustaining Business Recovery, Transforming Agriculture and Rural Economies, Developing Human Capital, Accelerating Digital Adoption and Data Utilisation, Balancing Economic Growth with Environmental Sustainability and Enhancing Government Capacity and Service Delivery. — DayakDaily