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RM4.3b revenue target this year
Published on: Friday, April 12, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The new State Government is determined to collect yearly revenue of at least RM3 billion and has set a target to collect RM4.3 billion for this year so as to maintain its performance of increasing revenue from RM4.2 billion last year.

Head of State Tun Dr Juhar Mahiruddin said the Sabah State Financial Statement for 2018 has shown its revenue collection increased by 6.99 per cent to RM4.2 billion compared to RM3.9 million in 2017.

“Apart from making efforts to achieve the target revenue collection of RM4.3 billion this year to achieve its Key Performance Index (KPI) for Sabah, the Government will also play an active role to claim other revenues related to Sabah’s claims in increasing the oil royalty for Sabah and reviewing a special grant that should be paid by the Federal Government that has not been reviewed or changed since 1973.

“Hence, these initiatives taken by the State Government are a commendable step towards diversifying sources of revenue collection and increasing the State’s income.

“This is because implementation of development programmes do need sufficient and strong sources of funding,” he said in his policy speech when opening the first meeting of the 15th sitting of the State Legislative Assembly Thursday.

Overall, Juhar said the financial standing of the Sabah Government is good and getting stronger, in line with financial discipline and control as well as implementation of efforts to collect outstanding revenues and exploring new income resources.

To ensure goals and strategies in the State Budget 2019 are achieved, he said focus should be on efforts to further enhance competency on financial management for the current year based on integrity and prudent spending policy through enforcement on compliance of rules and guidelines that have been fixed towards addressing misappropriation of funds and wastage.

“I record my appreciation and gratitude to the Government for their committed efforts to attract investors from Sabah-based companies listed in the Bursa Malaysia to invest in a large scale in Sabah.

“In this respect, I am calling on the State Government-linked companies (GLCs) to grab the opportunity in the aspect of equity participation which is significant to put in their money in strategic companies,” Juhar said.

On moving forward, he said the Government will continue to intensify efforts and implement various initiatives and development programmes, especially in high-impact development and “people-centric” projects.

Juhar thanked the Federal Government for all the efforts in continuing to develop Sabah, particularly in stimulating economic growth. 

Juhar was pleased to note that as of 2018, the State’s economy remained stable despite having to face the economic challenges at the national and global levels, including the fall of commodity prices and the ringgit.

He said this was reflected by the performance of the State’s foreign trade which recorded a positive balance of RM26 billion compared with RM23 billion in 2017.

He learned that the outstanding performance in the State’s foreign trade sector was influenced by the increase in its total export which hit RM56.6 billion in 2018 compared with RM51.7 billion in the corresponding period the year before.

“I congratulate the Government led by the Chief Minister (Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal) for taking the initiative to ensure that the development plan could be strategically realised through the Key Performance Indicators based on its 10 key results areas which have been implemented by all ministries and agencies,” he said.

Among the State’s main economic contributors is tourism which, according to Juhar, is targeting four million tourists this year compared with 3.8 million in 2018. 

He said the Government is also targeting more balanced tourist arrivals from China and the European countries as well as the United States and Oceania, including those from the domestic market.

To achieve this, Juhar said the Government will increase air accessibility to Sabah and diversify tourism products, especially in the rural areas and in the east coast.

Efforts are also underway to add value to the State’s tourism assets by declaring Mount Kinabalu and the surrounding districts of Ranau, Kota Belud and Kota Marudu as the National Geopark site this year and to be made famous as Unesco Global Geopark by 2020.

He said process is also being taken to gazette Darvel Bay in Lahad Datu and Mantanani Island in Kota Belud as marine conservation areas. 

In the agriculture sector, Juhar said the Government will launch the Sabah Agriculture Blueprint this year which would give focus on large scale agriculture activities to increase output.

The State’s rubber industry, he said, will be further empowered this year as replanting programmes will continue, including new planting in areas totalling 5,016 hectares covering 78 villages and involving 1,548 rubber smallholders. This initiative, he said, will help the rural poor.

Touching on the manufacturing sector, Juhar reiterated the Government’s determination to increase its contribution to the State’s revenue from the current 7.5 per cent in 2017 to 35 per cent in the next six years.

He said part of efforts toward achieving this target is to increase the use of technology.

“Particularly technology that is driven by the Industrial Revolution 4.0,” he said.

In addition to this, Juhar said the Government will also increase the availability of natural resources for processing and value adding such as crude palm oil, oil and gas, timber and agriculture products.

Also in line with the target, he said the Government aims at creating 100 Small and Medium Industry operators to increase the sector’s capacity.

On the timber export ban, Juhar said the policy shall continue in order to stimulate growth of the local timber-based downstream industry such as furniture making and to increase more job opportunities.

The move, he said, will indirectly help the local mills to generate economic opportunities and enjoy the multiplier effects from the local timber industry. Toward this direction, he said the Government has identified an areas at the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in Sandakan to be the furniture making hub in Sabah.

He noted that various efforts are being taken by the Government to reduce the cost of investment and increase logistic efficiency in attracting more high value investments to the State, particularly in parks and industrial sectors such as the Sipitang Oil and Gas Industrial Park (Sogip), Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu and Sandakan, and the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP).

Juhar further said a feasibility study will be carried out to explore the viability in building a main port in Kudat as a trade gateway in the State.

Along with this, he said the Government will be developing a railway network system as part of its economic development strategy.

The State Legislative Assembly will be in session from Monday to Thursday next week. - Hayati Dzulkifli 

and Leonard Alaza

 



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