By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, May 8: The chief minister’s steadfastedness in pursuing Sarawak’s rights, especially its oil and gas, has made big returns for the state with Petronas finally willing to pay the 5 per cent State Sales Tax (SST) for 2019 worth RM2 billion today.
President of the Sarawak Federations of Chinese Associations Datuk Richard Wee said the 5 per cent SST which would bring an extra income of some RM3.9 billion annually would further accelerate the pace of development in Sarawak.
“There are no words to describe how happy we are to hear the news that Petronas is now willing to pay 5 per cent of SST amounting to RM2 billion for 2019,” Wee told DayakDaily today.
He stated that the income from SST would fulfill the vision of the chief minister in bringing more development to Sarawak especially in the rural areas.
Wee was commenting on a joint statement issued today by Assistant Minister of Law and State and Federal Relations Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali and Petronas chairman Datuk Ahmad Nizam Salleh that both the Sarawak government and Petronas had reached an amicable solution to settle the outstanding dues owed to Sarawak.
Sarawak has imposed the 5 per cent SST on January 2019.
Meanwhile, Wee also welcomed the announcement made by the chief minister on Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang 3.0 worth RM300 million for the B40 and other B40 who have missed out from BKSS 1.0 and BKSS 2.0.
“With this BKSS 3.0, we hoped that those who carry out its implementation would ensure that the money will reach the pocket to the target groups,” he said.
He reiterated that the BKSS 3.0 showed that the Sarawak government is inclusive and comprehensive in its policy.
“BKSS will ensure that everyone is included, especially those who has ‘fallen between the cracks’,” added Wee.
So far, the Sarawak government has allocated RM2.65 billion to help resuscitate the economy which has been battered by the Movement Control Order (MCO) triggered by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Abang Johari’s administration has announced the BKSS 1.0 on Mar 23, 2020 to combat the devastating effect of Covid-19 pandemic.
This first economic package worth RM1.15 billion has been introduced to help the low- and medium-income groups in Sarawak, on top of the stimulus package known as Prihatin Package announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Mar 27.
Following the announcement of BKSS 1.0, many small and medium entrepreneurs as well as petty traders also raised up their needs that their livelihood was as badly affected due to the MCO.
Subsequently, BKSS 2.0 valued at RM1.1 billion was announced on April 10, where special attention was given to the traders, hawkers and the struggling small and medium enterprises (SMEs).—DayakDaily