PETALING JAYA: The local City Council (MBPJ) approved a budget of RM397 million for 2016 with a 11.19% or RM39.98 million deficit. It is an increase of 6.85% or RM25.4 million from Budget 2015 with a projected revenue of RM357.18 million, an increase of RM31.32 million or 9.61% as compared to the previous budget. Petaling Jaya's Budget 2016 had also reduced deficit from 14.07% by RM5.87 million. MBPJ mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain said the budget is focused on improving public transport, infrastructure, business, housing, industrial park, recreation, and public amenities. He said RM2.685 million has been allocated to improve public transportation, with most of the funds set aside to upgrade pedestrian walkways and road shoulders to encourage walking while another RM6.59 million to prepare more buses, including electrical buses for sustainable development, to expand the PJ Free Bus initiative with six new routes, among them Damansara Damai to Sungai Way, Kota Damansara to Ara Damansara, Bandar Utama to Kelana Jaya, and SS2 to Jalan Othman. Mohd Azizi said RM25.9 million is to improve infrastructure such as drainage systems to counter flash floods in the city, and to streamline the PJ One Way Loop. The money will also be used for "Park and Ride" projects at the Taman Paramount, Taman Bahagia, and Taman Jaya LRT stations. For recreational facilities and public amenities, RM11.08 million has been allocated, with most of the money devoted to upgrade public facilities such as fields, playgrounds, and community halls. Mohd Azizi said the budget will also focus on improving housing areas for the public for a better quality of life. Among the initiatives are improving public security via installation of CCTVs and more lighting, stepping up enforcement, and increasing allocations to resident organisations from RM5,000 to RM6,000. He said public facilities will also be more accommodating for the disabled, the old, and children to encourage an integrated and caring society. Mohd Azizi said the council will not increase assessment rates for 2016 but will bear the costs for Goods and Services Tax (GST). As of August 2015, he said, MBPJ had paid RM970,372 in input tax and RM274,208 in output tax. The council, meanwhile, has applied for refunds with the Customs Department.