By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 26: The total placements of deposits in the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) amounts to RM7.16 billion, while the bank’s total approved credit facilities are at RM9.70 billion as of March 31, 2022.
Second Minister for Finance and New Economy Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas revealed this in responding to issues raised by Bawang Assan member Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh on matters pertaining to DBOS.
“The loans disbursed were mainly utilised for State public infrastructure projects such as the water supply grid, rural electrification schemes, roads and bridges.
“During this initial operating period, DBOS is granted by the Federal Ministry of Finance (MOF) a tax exemption which requires profit earned by DBOS to be re-invested into funding of infrastructure projects in the State,” he told the august House when delivering his winding-up speech today.
Uggah, who is also Deputy Premier, also reminded that the essence of formation of DBOS mooted by Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg back in 2017 was to finance strategic infrastructure projects in order to accelerate development in Sarawak.
“As we well know, there is still much to be done to develop our State’s infrastructure – be it roads and bridges, provision of treated water supply and electrification of rural areas.
“Our YAB Premier (Abang Johari) upon assuming the leadership of Sarawak government, has pledged his full commitment to ensure that all Sarawakians will not be deprived of these basic infrastructures and will provide opportunity for a better and more prosperous life,” he explained.
To meet this development agenda that requires huge capital investment and to be in control of the development efforts in a concerted and self-determining manner, Uggah emphasised that the Sarawak government has to resort to a drastic solution of self-funding these long outstanding infrastructure projects, especially in rural areas.
“Hence this prompts the State to look at alternative capital funding mechanisms, such as through the establishment of DBOS.
“Leveraging on DBOS will facilitate and provide the State the fiscal flexibility in strategising its development programmes, whereby alternative sources of funding will ensure funds are readily available to keep the development momentum continuing without uncertainties of funding from either internal or from Federal government and neither being dependent on the market,” he added. — DayakDaily