Bandar Seri Begawan - Maintaining and upgrading public welfare has been identified as another priority of the budget this year. These include providing facilities and basic needs such as free education, quality health services, subsidies on rice, electricity supply car petrol, housing and-so on.
This was highlighted by the Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister's Office, YB Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdul Rahman bin Hj Ibrahim in his budget deliberation for a sum of $6.1 billion out of the consolidated fund for the service of the Financial Year 2013/2014 and to appropriate such sum for certain purposes.
In health aspect for instance, $700,000 has been provided for operation expenses for the ministry to carry out health promotion.
Several projects have and will be implemented such as $14 million to build a new Children and Women Clinic Hospital (phase one) with project cost of $47.1 million, Rimba Health Centre with project cost of $7.2 million, scientific and public lab with programme cost of $6.3 million, pharmacy service building with programme cost of $4 million, purchasing of medicines totalling $56.5 million, supply and medical service ($28.2 million), budget to finance the sending and treatment of patient overseas ($10 million), purchasing of equipment and items for hospitals, health centres, dental services and ambulance purchase ($9.6 million).
Some $11.2 million has also been allocated to provide and improve sports facilities, and allocation for Mukim and Village Consultative Councils has been increased by $200,000 to $600,000.
For the 'One Product, One Mukim' activity, the allocation is $750,000 for 2013-2014, as compared to $500,000 previously, $300,000 was given to assist NGO's operations and $500,000 to strengthen family institution programme.
To promote community activities and to glorify mosques and suraus, $150,000 has been allocated for expenditures, and an additional amount of $70,000 to finance the allowance of speakers and workforce for adult classes.
Meanwhile, $9.8 million with project cost of $47.7 million has been allocated to upgrade the water supply system, $19.8 million with project cost of $69.7 million to upgrade sewerage and drainage system including flood mitigation in Kg Lumapas, Kg Rataie, Kg Kiudang, Kg Birau and Kg Bukok. Another $11.1 million with project cost of $46.5 million has been provided to manage traffic jam and promote road safety.
To contain floods, several projects will be implemented such as concrete drain and retention pool Damuan which is worth $3.6 million with project cost of $10 milion, improvement of Sg Damuan flow which is worth $2.1 million with project cost of $4 million.
Meanwhile, Kg Selayun and Sengkurong flow is worth $1.26 million, improvement of drainage in Pekan Tutong with $1.9 million. To widen main roads at Jln Muara, Jln Aman to Tanah Jambu; Jln Singa Manteri; Jln Sg Mau/Merangking/Buau, a budget of $8 million has been allocated with project cost of $59 million.
Allocations for upgrading works for the supply system of the national electricity were made, such as the maintenance of power system is to be added at $5.2 million, totalling to $9 million; a total of $8.5 million with cost planning of $150 million has been provided for the upgrade of electric supply system to ensure the stability of electric supply chain in the nation; and allocations of $52 million has been provided to fund the cost of electric supply from Berakas Power Management Company.
With the ever-changing weather conditions and uncertain global economy, efforts to ensure the assurance of food security will be strengthened, and for this, an allocation of $20 million for the paddy plantation project will be maintained.
On July 15, 2012, the government introduced various steps and initiatives which were aimed at aiding the citizens to have their own house. Those initiatives included not charging the premium payment of land for the renewal of land lease which is not more than one acre, given that the land houses a residence of the owner or one to be built.
The establishment housing saving scheme to aid the low-income members of TAP was allocated $20 million for a start. It is intended to encourage members of the public, especially citizens who are also TAP members and have yet to own their own house and do not receive service pension from the government, to own their own house within their ability through the acculturation of saving and the update of housing financial loan scheme at the Treasury Department.
The government will continuously take the necessary measure to tackle the issue of poverty in the country. The efforts are hoped to be able to aid those concerned and help them out of the misery of poverty through self-sufficiency, and not solely depending on the aid from the government and those parties concerned.
Other efforts to provide opportunities in terms of education and training will also be upgraded, such as training scheme provided by the Youth Development Centre and also skill training schemes such as empowering programme. In addition, specific aid will constantly be provided to those in need. This includes additional funds provided by the Ministry of Education to aid children from underprivileged families in their schooling, including religious schools.
Efforts will be made to achieve the zero poverty objective through three initiatives which are, social support initiative, poverty management initiative and poverty eradication. With these initiatives, the current and upcoming programmes will be directed in preventing an individual from being dragged into poverty.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin