Budget 2023: RM95b for development, the biggest ever

THE 2023 budget is allocating a record RM95 billion in development expenditure, from RM75.6 billion last year and RM64 billion in 2021.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, when tabling the Supply Bill 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat, said despite the fiscal constraints facing the government, infrastructure development was necessary to support the country’s development and reduce the gap between regions.

Out of the total allocation, he said, RM16.5 billion was for the transport sector for major infrastructure projects, especially the Pan Borneo Highway, the Gemas-Johor Bahru Twin Railway, the East Coast Rail Link Project (ECRL), the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) and the Central Spine Expressway.

He said to improve the quality of delivery and provide a conducive environment, the government also prioritised the repair and maintenance of assets, including federal roads and government buildings with RM11.4 billion allocated for the purpose.

He said Phase Two of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) 2 project, which now involved the Kampung Batu station to Putrajaya Sentral, was near completion and expected to start operating in January next year.

“As for the MRT3 project, it is the government’s commitment to complete the Kuala Lumpur rail network, covering 50.8 kilometres. The MRT3 Phase 1 is expected to be completed in 2028, while Phase 2 in 2030 at a cost of RM50.2 billion with an estimated expenditure of RM3.3 billion in 2023,” he added. — BERNAMA