ALOR STAR: The Kedah state government is expected to rake in RM701.94 million next year, much lower than the anticipated revenue of RM710 million this year.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir (pix), when tabling the 2020 State Budget, said the lower revenue projection was due to a drop in forest resources following the decision by the state government to prioritise water retention in the catchment areas.
“Contribution from state government-linked companies (GLCs) will also be reduced from RM15 million to RM1.5 million based on the subsidiaries’ performance and to give them the chance to restore their financial situation.
“This is a realistic estimation as it is based on current situation taking into account all sources of revenue, detailed list of data and performance during revenue collection,” he said.
The 2020 Kedah Budget, themed ‘Ethical Budgeting, Building Prosperity Together (Bajet Berhemah, Bina Kemakmuran Bersama) also highlighted an overall allocation of RM1.097 billion for operating expenditure and state development expenditure.
A total of RM759.49 million was allocated for operating expenditure and RM182.21 million for development expenditure Mukhriz said, adding that another RM155.47 million using loans from the Federal Government had been allocated for water supply development projects.
Taking into account the government’s revenue and expenditure, the projected deficit was over RM57.547 million or 8.2% as compared to 8.14% in 2019, he added.
Mukhriz said to ensure that the 2020 revenue collection is achieved steps would be taken to resolve the land tax arrears of RM89.1 million by issuing the Notice of Demand: Rent Arrears (Form 6A) to landlords who refuse to settle the outstanding amount.
“To ease tax payment, the state government will implement online payment facilities through the Kedah Payment Gateway beginning January next year.
“The Kedah government hopes that all state assembly representatives will support the stern action in the enforcement of state revenue collections,” he added.
In building prosperity for the people, Mukhriz said the state government would continue with the Kedah Special Women’s Fund, by allocating RM1 million for 2020.
Since its inception in February this year, 960 women comprising breadwinners and those caring for their sick parents in 36 constituencies, have benefited from the RM480,000 allocation.
Meanwhile, Mukhriz said an allocation of RM24.8 million had been provided for the Social Welfare Department to implement various schemes, including monthly general aid, disaster, incentives for disabled persons, study training allowance, grants for orphanages, and community rehabilitation centres.
He said the underprivileged were not forgotten as RM4 million had been allocated to assist them in raising their income through poverty eradication and social development projects.
“In order to succeed in the socio-economic development plans listed in the Budget, the state government has taken a collaborative approach with the various parties, the federal government, local authorities, GLCs, government agencies and private sectors,” he said.
Mukhriz added that though Kedah has limited resources, with good management the state’s revenue could be increased. — Bernama