RM887 million for development
> RM564 million for operating expenditure in RM1.45 billion budget
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government yesterday tabled a RM1.45 billion budget for 2017 with the bulk of it going for development purposes.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said a sum of RM887 million was allocated for development and RM564.51 million for operating expenditure.
The estimated deficit is RM667.1 million compared to RM292.13 million in 2016 with revenue for next year estimated at RM687,413,100, he said when tabling the Supply and Development Enactment 2017 in the state legislative assembly.
“Even though the deficit for 2017 has increased, this will not affect our commitment to implement development projects and social assistance programmes,” he added.
Lim also announced a year-end halfmonth bonus for civil servants in Penang or a minimum RM700 bonus payment while those who have taken fewer than four days of sick leave as at November 2016 are entitled to a further quarter-month bonus.
“The half-month bonus will involve 4,178 civil servants and (a payout of RM4.19 million),” he said, adding RM786,000 is to be allocated to 1,502 KAFA teachers, 225 Sekolah Rendah Agama Rakyat teachers, 185 Sekolah Menengah Agama Rakyat teachers, private Chinese schools staff and 279 Tahfiz, TADIS and Guru Pondok teachers.
The state administration allocated RM220 million for flood mitigation measures where RM150 million goes to the state Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) for its nine projects, with the largest being a RM19.1 million project in Padang Lalang and Kampung Permatang Rawa.
Lim said RM50 million will be used by the Penang Water Supply Corp (PBAPP) to build a pipe to deliver water from the Air Itam Dam to the Teluk Bahang Dam. The Penang Island City Council will also be allocated RM11.61 million for several flood mitigation measures including in Hilir Sungai Pinang and Parit Lumba Kuda while the Seberang Perai Municipal Council will be allocated RM9.45 million for monsoon drains, retention ponds and pump houses maintenance.
Lim said the assessment tax exemption for residents of low-cost, low-medium cost and village houses will continue in 2017 and a 6% discount on assessment tax on all property, including commercial properties, will come into effect next year.