ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Johor State Assembly today unanimously supported and passed the 2021 State Budget.
The Supply Enactment (2021) Bill 2020 and the Johor State Development Expenditure Estimates for 2021, were approved after being debated for six days from Nov 29.
The budget with the theme ‘Resilient for Prosperity’ which was tabled on Nov 26, was the first to be tabled by Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad after Perikatan Nasional took over the administration of the state government from Pakatan Harapan on Feb 28.
The budget has 12 main agendas covering various sectors including agriculture, digital, entrepreneurship, infrastructure, rural development, youth, and welfare.
Hasni when presenting the budget said the projected state revenue was RM1.609 billion while the projected expenditure was RM1.857 billion, making it the first deficit budget in the state after 10 consecutive years of surplus budgets.
Earlier, while winding up his debate, Hasni said the 2021 Johor Budget was designed specifically to help all the people of Johor, especially in dealing with the current situation amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I admit the process of implementing all the focal points in the 2021 Johor Budget is not an easy one. The implementation of various initiatives is expected to be further challenged due to uncertainties in economic growth at the national and global levels.
“Our country, Malaysia, and Johor in particular, are not spared from the feeling the impact. Therefore, the 2021 Johor Budget has been designed and produced based on the assessment of current needs, priorities and wants of the people of Johor,“ he said.
According to Hasni, although there is a deficit of RM248.14 million for next year’s budget, it is formulated based on counter-cyclical fiscal measures to help stimulate economic recovery.
“However, I would like to emphasise that the Johor State Government has sufficient state reserves to cover the deficit.
“This internal strength is due to the accumulated surplus in the Consolidated Revenue Account amounting to RM1.67 billion, which is more than enough to implement all the initiatives including departmental operating expenses for 2021.
“However, this surplus also needs to be managed efficiently and effectively and prudently in order to cover the budget expenditures in the coming years which would be much more challenging,“ he said. -Bernama