Bandar Seri Begawan - Over $1 billion has already been spent in the implementation of projects and programmes in the first year of the 10th National Development Plan. Under this plan, a total sum of $6.5 billion will be used to develop the country in an expected 682 projects for the period of 2012 to 2017.
This was yesterday revealed by Haji Abdul Amin bin Haji Hashim, the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Economic Planning and Development, in his 10th National Development Plan 2012-2017 presentation during a French Bruneian Business Association (FBBA) talk held at the Radisson Hotel.
Among the present were Mr Jean Yves Berthault, the Ambassador Designate of France to Brunei Darussalam, Pierre Imhof, President of FBBA, and other members and diplomats.
"So far, under the 10th National Development Plan, there are some levels of efficiency with projects and programmes. This is a good sign of an increase in capacity from the private sector involved in the projects and programmes under the National Development Plan."
He highlighted, "More projects are coming up in the National Development Plan, after receiving greater priority"
Elaborating on the projects, he said, "In the 682 projects the country will implement under the 10th National Development Plan, one of our main agendas is to ensure a higher quality of life for the people. Therefore, housing is an important aspect and this has been implemented.
"We have further allocated new housing, with $110 million allocated for the Kg Lugu area in the Brunei-Muara District.
"We also want to ensure our infrastructure is maintained or modernised so there are plans to build new roads connecting Tutong to Kuala Belait. We have to ensure our good image. We also have a few projects to upgrade our electricity supply so as to avoid black outs, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars."
Special funds have also been set-up under the 10th National Development Plan, with $250 million allocated for Human Resource Development (HRD) Fund, $200 million allocated for Research and Development Fund, and $100 million for SMEs Development Fund.
"For the first two, we have implemented a number of projects. For Human Resource Development, there are unique programmes to help employees in the private sector enhance their education and knowledge. We help the younger generation with low qualifications, assisting them in acquiring further qualification. We let private education institutions provide courses for them to grow in private education sector.
"Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and the iCentre also have a number of programmes, whereby the financial support came from the SMEs Development Fund," he said.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin