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Sarawak to continue with devt-biased, rural-focused budget
Posted on : 14 Nov 2018  Source of News: The Borneo Post online

Sarawak to continue with devt-biased, rural-focused budget

November 14, 2018, Wednesday

SARAWAK will continue with development-biased and rural-focused budget to stimulate a higher level of economic activities and economic progress for the state.

Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Jemut Masing in his ministry’s winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting said Sarawak will also continue with its socio-economic development and rural transformation agenda and step up the implementation of rural transformation projects.

“From the total of the 2019 development budget amounting to RM9.073 billion, RM6.049 billion or 67 per cent will be for the development of rural areas,” said Masing, who is also a deputy chief minister.

The allocation, he said, will be for the provision of basic infrastructure and amenities including roads and bridges, rural water and electricity supplies as well as other people-centric rural-based projects under the 11th Malaysia Plan.

The continual efforts in rural development, he added, is vital towards achieving balanced development and closing the rural-urban development gap as well as for the economic prosperity of our rural community.

For 2018, he said the Cabinet Committee on Rural Transformation under his chairmanship through its Key Result Areas (KRAs) groups have successfully set up a Cluster-Clinic System at the health clinic in Long Lama and Sungai Asap .

Masing added that the mobilisation of 15 Rural Clinic Visiting Doctor (RCVD) teams has repaired and carried out upgrading works on 13 dilapidated rural health clinics.

Others include 88 flood mitigation projects, 19 rural water supply projects under the Sarawak Alternative Water Supply (Sawas), Communication Pipe and Submain programmes, upgrading of one ex-logging road under the Projek Mesra Rakyat (PMR), electricity connection to 5,494 households via Rural Electrification Scheme (RES), 400 households via Hybrid Scheme and 1,977 households via Sarawak Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares), provision of Internet services to 1,455 schools via 1BestariNet (1BRIS) telecommunication towers, and the survey works on residential lots, agriculture lots and home garden at Metalun Resettlement Scheme Belaga.

Under the Rural Transformation Initiatives 2019, he said the ministry will continue to implement various high impact rural intervention projects.

Among them are repairing and upgrading of 47 dilapidated rural schools, 22 dilapidated rural health clinics as well as continuing the upgrading works on former logging roads.

“The ministry will also implement and complete the three Sawas projects, 53 projects under the Communication Pipe and Submain programme, two projects under retrofit of treatment plants/reservoirs programme and renewal/replacement of old pipelines,” he said.

Other projects include electricity connection to 6,856 rural households through RES, Hybrid Schemes and Sares, 26 flood mitigation projects, survey works on agriculture lots and home garden at Tegulang Resettlement Scheme Belaga, and implementing various environmental and community awareness programmes under a new KRA on Effective Enforcement and Environment.

“The rakyat (people) in rural areas deserve to be provided with basic infrastructure and utilities in the shortest time possible,” he added.