SEREMBAN (Nov 29): The Negeri Sembilan Budget 2023 tabled by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun is a comprehensive budget which could ensure the people’s survival despite a deficit of RM100 million, said Chennah assemblyman Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
He said this is because there was a good increase in various indicators, including the collection of Consolidated Fund reserves amounting to RM748.27 million as of Nov 15, in addition to investment and the shareholding of state statutory bodies.
“Although we tabled a deficit budget, it can be borne by the state government through surplus or the Consolidated Fund, without burdening its finances.
“The state government also had to table a deficit budget because, since the Covid-19 outbreak two to three years ago, the state needs to spend more to ensure that the welfare and well-being of the affected people can be taken care of.”
Loke, who is also Seremban Member of Parliament (MP), said this during the debate session of the Supply Bill (2023) 2022 at the Fourth Meeting (Budget) of the Fifth Term of the 14th State Legislative Assembly sitting on Tuesday (Nov 29).
On Friday (Nov 25), the Negeri Sembilan government tabled its Budget 2023, amounting to RM550 million, with an estimated revenue of RM450 million and a development budget of RM130 million.
In the meantime, Loke said the budget, which main focus is to ensure continuity in food supplies, needs to be implemented immediately. He hopes that every allocation is appropriately channelled to the people.
“Of course, the challenge will be to ensure the inflation rate goes down, thus lowering the cost of living, which is also a focus of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” he said.
Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Awaludin Said (BN-Kota) said the state government should prioritise the welfare of the people, especially those still affected by Covid-19.
He said some people lost their source of income during the Covid-19 pandemic two years ago and still struggle with economic uncertainties, and thus need support to start small businesses.
“The state government needs to pay attention to this affected group by channelling aid for these two years, so that they can be on their feet to support their families,” he said.
Meanwhile, Saiful Yazan Sulaiman (BN-Johol) said the people should be able to enjoy any development carried out by the state government through the budget, adding that it should not focus only on certain areas.
“This is something the people have been waiting for...especially when they want to build a new life after the pandemic. As such, this development planning must have an impact on the people,” he said.
The state assembly sitting continues on Wednesday (Nov 30).