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Penang to sell state land via open tender to increase revenue

October 20th, 2020 Leave a comment

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Penang will sell state land at market price via open tender in order to raise revenue.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow in his winding up speech at the state legislative assembly here today, said the move was to manage the deficit budget tabled for 2021.

With the move, he added, the state does not have to cut into its consolidated reserve funds.

“We can now consider selling state land through open tender unlike the current practice where the sale of state land is conducted directly by certain applicants and the sale price is based on the value of land set by the Valuation and Property Services Department.

“Through open tender, we can sell the state land to the highest bidder. This process will be done in accordance with land sale regulations,” he said.

Besides selling land, Chow said dormant state land would be transferred to the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) to be monetised.

Chow also said that another method was to reclassify rural land as urban land, this as development had changed the landscape of some rural areas, turning them into towns.

He also said it was unavoidable for Penang to have presented a deficit budget of RM403.8 million for 2021, adding that it had a choice to present a surplus budget but decided against it as it had allocated a large sum of the budget towards protecting the people’s welfare in facing a challenging economy.

“We have been presenting a deficit budget every year, but finally, we always record a surplus, except in 2018. The state’s revenue is also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic since one of the highest sources of revenue for the state is from the entertainment and tourism industriies,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chow has asked Putrajaya to allocate at least RM1 billion to the state annually for its contribution to the economy.

He cited last year’s contribution of RM94.7 billion, or 6.7 per cent of the gross domestic product, with Penang being the fourth highest contributor in the country

“As such, the federal government must reward Penang fairly,” he added.

He also noted that Penang only received RM241 million in federal funding this year, comprising annual per capita contributions based on population, a RM15.1 million Covid-19 aid grant, and road repair funds, among others.

Source: NST Online

 

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