2024 State Budget: RM83 mln to be allocated for port devt, navigation safety, riverine projects, says Abg Jo
20.11.2023 (The Borneo Post) - KUCHING (Nov 20): A total of RM83 million will be allocated for port development, navigation safety and the ongoing riverine projects in the 2024 State Budget, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The projects are the proposed vehicle yard and associated facilities at Senari Port in Kuching; port development and maintenance dredging grants to state port authorities; proposed construction and completion of Tanjung Embang Terminal Phase 1 at Kuching Port; master plan study for ports; and construction of wharves, jetties, river wall and waterfront.
“Ports are catalysts for economic development as they enable trade and support supply chains. The Sarawak government is committed to supporting port development for better and more efficient port services,” said Abang Johari when presenting the 2024 State Budget at State Legislative Assembly (DUN) today.
Abang Johari also said the installation and commissioning of new quay cranes for Kuching Port Authority, costing approximately RM72 million, will increase cargo handling productivity and spur growth in cargo volume.
The Premier said Sarawak aspires to be a maritime transit hub, considering its strategic location along the Southeast Asia regional trading route.
In order to modernise and transform urban transport, Abang Johari said the state has embarked on the implementation of Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) Project, in which the implementation of Phase 1 includes the development of three Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) lines.
A sum of RM900 million has been set aside for the ART project next year, he added.
“In addition, in our effort to improve and upgrade the public transport system, a sum of RM5 million will be provided in 2024 for the implementation of smart buses for Miri City to provide better connectivity and increase mobility for the people.”
Touching on native land and rural development, he said RM35 million will be allocated for Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) for replanting oil palm in existing estates involving 10,500 hectares and for new planting of 6,400 hectares.
“The government will also continue to assist oil palm smallholders in complying with The European Union (EU)’s European Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR) policy by implementing various strategies to promote sustainable agrocommodity production such as Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification, which covers all stages of the production chain in the sector.”
Abang Johari said RM10 million was approved under 12th Malaysia Plan to continue issuing land titles to the scheme participants.
He pointed out that to date, 50,823 hectares involving 28,849 lots of native customary right (NCR) land have been involved with Salcra’s oil palm development programme.
“The total number of participants’ land issued with Section 18 stood at 18,392 lots or 63.8 per cent, involving 33,890 hectares, while another 4,577 lots have been surveyed and are pending issuance of land title.”
About RM2 million has been allocated to accelerate the issuance of Section 18 land title, he said.