Penang tables 2020 budget with RM273.5m deficit

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to reporters at Dewan Sri Pinang in George Town November 1, 2019. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to reporters at Dewan Sri Pinang in George Town November 1, 2019. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 1 — Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow tabled a RM792.66 million budget for 2020 with a projected deficit of RM273.5 million, making it the ninth consecutive year of overspending since 2011.

However, the budget is 12.04 per cent lower than this year’s budget of RM901.19 million.

“The main reason for the lower operation expenditure for next year was due to RM150 million being transferred into the state development consolidated funds compared to the RM230 million channelled to the fund this year,” he said when reading out the state Budget 2020.

Chow said the estimated deficit is also lower than RM395.69 million projected for this year.

He said lower allocations for development would not affect planned projects in the state.

“The lower funds being transferred was after taking into account repayment of loans from Penang Development Corporation and Penang Water Supply Corporation,” he said.

The total development budget set aside for 2020 is RM269.3 million, which is 12.08 per cent lower than the RM306.38 allocated for this year.

The total revenue expected to be collected for 2020, at RM519.16million, will be RM13.66 million or 2.7 per cent higher than the revenue for 2019.

Chow then announced a RM1,000 or half month’s bonus for the state’s civil servants.

He said the cash aid amounting to RM5.42 million was in recognition of the 3,996 staff in the civil service and their contributions.

“We hope that this special cash aid will encourage the civil service to perform better in the coming year,” he said.

He also announced cash aid amounting to RM841,500 to schools which will be paid out next month.

The cash aid of RM300 each will be given to 1,594 Kafa school teachers and supervisors, 275 Sekolah Rendah Agama Rakyat teachers, 185 Sekolah Menengah Agama Rakyat and 583 teachers and staff of independent Chinese schools.

Meanwhile, RM200 each will be given to 252 tahfiz, pondok and Islamic kindergarten (Tadis) teachers.

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