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KUCHING, Oct 13: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Stakan branch chairman Dato Sim Kiang Chiok views the Sarawak Budget 2022 as a comprehensive budget that will benefit Sarawakians and help boost the economy.
Sim, in a statement today, said the expected high revenue of RM10.036 billion is assisted by Sarawak’s autonomous right of imposing sales tax that was rightly activated by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on oil and gas products coupled with returns from clever investments apart from other tax revenues, which made the 2022 budget just as big as last year.
According to him, the budget expenditure which has increased from RM9.83 billion in 2021 to RM10.646 billion for 2022, against a revenue of RM10.01 billion in 2021 and RM10.013 billion in 2022, shows that the State government under Abang Johari is consistent and sincere in helping the country in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The continuation of assistance under of BKSS (Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang) 8.0 for six more months of next year as well as one-off financial assistance is a very caring move by the State government when most household incomes have been affected and will need more time to recover to pre-Covid levels.
He noted the continuation of the welfare benefits shows that the Sarawak government have not neglect the underprivileged, vulnerable and those who are sick with initiatives such as the newborn incentives, post-natal assistance, Early Childhood and Care Institutions, Kenyalang Gold Card, kidney dialysis assistance, I-Suri incentives, e-Life, safehomes for the homeless and various types of aids under the Welfare Department.
Meanwhile, Sim also pointed out that the important key for the economy to move and grow is to recapitalise the businesses, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the micro enterprise as they are running out of their own resources.
He emphasised the State government is right to assist the businesses, small medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro businesses in the state, through Special Relief Facility, Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility and Penjana Tourism Financing with an allocation of RM25.1 million and another RM24.5 million for entrepreneurship programmes, Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme, Small and Medium industries Loan, Go Digital and Digital Marketing Training.
“These allocation are on top of the Federal assistance to SME and businesses which will give our Sarawak Businesses and SMEs the best chance to weather and ride out this unprecedented pandemic that have disrupted our livelihoods,” he said.
Apart from that, he said in this 2022 budget, the affordable housing sector is also being assisted with the RM48 million Rental Assistance Scheme, RM50 million loan assistance for low and middle income groups, and the Housing Deposit Assistance Scheme where RM10,000 cash assistance will be meted out to 1,200 home buyers in the B40 and M40 groups as housing deposit through Mutiara Mortgage and Credit Sdn Bhd.
“This is the first time our State government has introduced this Housing Deposit Assistance Scheme which will benefit the first time home buyer and would help them in their initial downpayment,” he said. — DayakDaily