Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg today announced a state budget of RM10.036 billion for 2022, the first to be presented without being tabled in the state assembly as Sarawak is still under a state of emergency.
Speaking at a press conference in Kuching, he said the budget would focus on the state’s recovery from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is the first time we share a budget because we are in an emergency,” he said, adding that the authority lies with the chief minister to approve allocations from the consolidated fund.
“With the estimated revenue of RM10.036 billion, and expected ordinary expenditure of RM10.64 billion, this means we will have a deficit of RM600 million.
“This 2022 state budget is an expansionary budget, focusing on our recovery from the pandemic. This budget will focus primarily on protecting and restoring the livelihood of the people and small businesses.”
To assist Sarawakians from among the low-income oil palm and pepper smallholders, Abang Johari said the state government is introducing assistance from a special fund with an allocation of RM60 million.
“For fish farmers there is a special fund for smallholders, particularly palm oil and pepper. We will also provide an empowerment fund scheme, upscaling and re-skilling our small businesses community to adapt to the new norms.
“In a budget nutshell, we are people-centric,” he added.
He also announced a bonus of one and a half months’ salary for civil servants and RM500 for federal civil servants working in the state.