The theme for Budget 2012 is ‘National Transformation Policy: Welfare For The Rakyat, Well-Being of The Nation’.
So what exactly can Sarawak look forward to next year?
Here’s some of the highlights of Budget 2012 (some extracted from Prime Minister’s Office twitter account #Budget2012)…especially some that relate directly to our State;
Addressing rise in the cost of living
- In the spirit of “People First”, all subsidies, incentives and assistance totalling RM33.2bn will be continued.
- 500,000 will benefit from KAR1SMA, which provides assistance to poor senior citizens and children and disabled people.
- SARA 1Malaysia will benefit 100,000 households with income below RM3,000 per month.
Incentives for Civil servants
Civil servants will be given an additional bonus of half-month salary and pensioners RM500 (to be paid out in December)
- From 2012, increase in pay for civil servants will be between RM80 and RM320, according to their respective grade.
- 600,000 Government pensioners will benefit from an additional annual pension increment of 2%.
- Civil servants will be offered tuition fee assistance for part-time studies, including 5,000 masters & 500 doctoral scholarships.
- The Government will extend the compulsory retirement age from 58 to 60 years old to optimise civil servants’ contribution.
- Under a new time-based scheme for teachers, they will be promoted to Grade 44 in their eighth year of service and Grade 48 in their 16th.
- A special programme will be introduced for 175,000 army personnel who are not eligible for pensions.
- RM3,000 will be given to ex-members of the special constable and auxiliary police, as well as widows and widowers.
Better tax benefits
- The Government will expedite tax exemption approvals for educational institutions and all places of worship.
- Incentives, including a double deduction on scholarships, will be offered to encourage private sector human capital development.
More money for developing SCORE and rural areas
- Money for water supply infrastructure in Samalaju (Fund size is RM978 million, but will have to share with projects in the four other Corridors)
- RM5 billion to develop basic rural infrastructure, including RM1.8 billion for rural roads (no idea how much allocated to Sarawak)
- RM52 million to provide water tanks for rainwater harvesting in the rural areas of Sarawak, to benefit 100,000 people living in the interiors
Money for healthcare
- Healthcare will be allocated RM15bn for operating expenditure and RM1.8bn for development expenditure.
- Hospitals will be upgraded and constructed, and 81 rural health clinics upgraded and50 new 1Malaysia clinics launched.
- To prevent cervical cancer, the Government will provide free Human Papilloma Virus immunisation nationwide.
- Senior citizens aged 60 years & above will be exempted from outpatient registration fees in Government hospitals & health clinics.
Money for Education
- RM50.2 billion will be allocated to the education sector so that it can continue to develop talented, creative and innovative people.
- RM1 billion will be provided through a special fund for the construction, improvement and maintenance of schools.
- Payments for primary and secondary education abolished, making these free for the first time in our history.
- Private schools registered with the Ministry of Education will be given incentives including an Investment Tax Allowance.
- Book voucher worth RM200 will be given to Malaysian students in all private and public institutions of higher learning.
Incentives for small- & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
- A RM100 million SME Revitalisation Fund offering loans up to a maximum of RM1 million for entrepreneurs will be available from Jan 2012.
- A RM500 million Commercialisation Innovation Fund will be established to enable SMEs to commercialize research products.
- To assist taxi owners facing increased operating costs, measures will be introduced including tax exemptions on taxi purchases.
Incentives for fans of electric/ hybrid car
- Full exemption of import duty and excise duty on hybrid cars and electric cars will continue to be given until 2013.
Incentives for house buyers
- The real property gains tax will be reviewed so it doesn’t jeopardise the ability of low- and middle-income groups to buy homes.
- The My First Home Scheme will be expanded to increase the limit of house prices from a maximum of RM220,000 to RM400,000.
- The Government will continue to implement the Program Perumahan Rakyat by building 75,000 units of affordable houses.
- Rumah Mesra Rakyat programme will continue. SPNB will be tasked with building 10,000 units of Rumah Mesra Rakyat in 2012.
- (For the court-bound) The National Legal Aid Foundation will ensure that every individual who is charged in court will be given free legal aid.
- (For homeless) To assist the homeless the Government established a social assistance centre known as Anjung Singgah.
- (For women) A training allocation of RM10 million will be provided for women to develop leadership and managerial skills, to help them return to the job market.
- (For youth) RM200 million will be allocated to train youths who have left school through the SAY 1Malaysia programme.
- (For seniors) To ensure the welfare of retirees measures including a tax relief on Private Retirement Schemes contributions are introduced.
- One-off assistance of RM500 to households with a monthly income of RM3,000 and below will be provided.
- RM15mln will be allocated to build 150 futsal courts to achieve the “One Court for One Mukim” target.
The Prime Minister’s Budget 2012 speech can be downloaded from the Malaysian Treasury’s internet portal here.