KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has tabled a surplus budget of RM5.138bil for 2023, the largest state budget so far.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the state’s revenue collection for next year was projected to be RM5.268bil, giving the government a surplus of RM130.47mil.

Tabling the budget with the theme “Strengthening the Economy for People’s Prosperity” at the state assembly yesterday, he said the budget’s continued focus was in line with the state’s economic growth based on the Sabah Maju Jaya Development Plan.

“The primary focus is to drive and strengthen the state’s economy to ensure continuous and inclusive progress and the prosperity of Sabah and its people,” he said.

Hajiji said the revised revenue estimate for 2022 was also projected to be higher at RM5.988bil compared with the original estimate of RM4.707bil.

As for 2023, most of the revenue – or RM2.405bil – was expected to come from, among others, the state sales tax of RM2.27bil, land rent (RM90mil), and port and harbour dues (RM44.5mil), he added.

“Secondly, non-tax revenue will contribute RM2.311bil, including petroleum royalties of RM1.35bil, the sale of water at RM300mil, land premium (RM144mil), dividends (RM137mil), forest produce royalties and timber export products (RM133.5mil), and interest on cash balance and short-term deposits of RM115mil,” he said.

Hajiji, who is also state Finance Minister, said RM808mil would be allocated for accelerating development in productive growth sectors such as agriculture, industrial and tourism.

He also proposed an allocation of RM2.16bil for the state Finance Ministry, Works Ministry (RM1.16bil), Chief Minister’s Department (RM634.41mil), Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry (RM501.54mil), Rural Development Ministry (RM212.63mil), and Local Government and Housing Ministry (RM204.03mil).

Other proposed allocations are Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (RM175.61mil), Special Tasks and Coordination Ministry (RM167.75mil), Community Development and People’s Wellbeing Ministry (RM157.58mil), Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry (RM134.59mil), Youth and Sports Ministry (RM97.50mil) and Industrial Development Ministry (RM54.51mil).