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Budget catalyst for construction industry growth

Source from: New Straits Times, Original Article

KUALA LUMPUR: The RM7.35 billion allocation for the Works Ministry under the 2021 Budget is a boon for the construction industry and will serve as a catalyst for the nation’s economic growth.

Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the construction industry played an important role in driving the economy as well as creating business and employment opportunities.

“Those involved in the construction industry are not just limited to developers, contractors, engineers and architects, but also suppliers and lawyers as well as skilled and semi-skilled workers.

“It is an industry with multiplier effects. For instance, an allocation of RM1 million will create double the impact,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Present were ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Syed Omar Sharifuddin Syed Ikhsan, Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB) chief executive Datuk Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid, Works Department director-general Datuk Mohamad Zulkefly Sulaiman and Malaysian Highway Authority director-general Datuk Mohd Shuhaimi Hassan.

Of the total allocation set aside for the ministry, Fadillah said RM6.088 billion would be used for development expenditure with the rest for the ministry’s operational expenditure.

The Petra Jaya member of parliament explained that that the ministry had identified seven new projects, involving RM3.8 billion.

Among those identified for next year include the second phase of the Third Klang Bridge in Selangor, upgrading works involving a bridge crossing Sungai Marang, Terengganu, for the Kuala Terengganu-Kuantan route, and the construction of the Cameron Highlands bypass project in Pahang.

Other new projects include the upgrading of the Gerik, Perak, to Kulim, Kedah, federal road as well as the building and upgrading of the Pulau Indah Ringroad Phase 3 in Selangor.

“Some of the new projects are still in the planning stage and there are others ready to be tendered by the end of this year.”

The government under Perikatan Nasional, he said, aimed to bridge the infrastructure development gap between urban areas and the interior as well as between Sarawak and Sabah and the peninsula. He said this was reflected in the allocation of almost RM10 billion to carry out infrastructure projects in Sabah and Sarawak.

“A total of RM5 billion and RM4.5 billion in allocations have been set aside to carry out 1,039 projects in Sabah and 789 in Sarawak.”

In a related development, Fadillah said the cabinet had agreed in principle to appoint a project management company to monitor the implementation of the multi-billion ringgit Pan Borneo Highway projects in Sabah and Sarawak.

He said 53 per cent of the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sarawak had been completed with the first phase expected to be ready by 2022.As for the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sabah, Fadillah said 34 per cent had been completed.

Commenting on the extension of the Industrialised Building System (IBS) investment tax allowance for another five years until 2025, Fadillah said he hoped it would encourage more industry players to adopt the latest technology in their work processes.

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