BND600M to enhance quality of life, generate job opportunities

Hakim Hayat

The BND600 million budget allocation for the 11th National Development Plan (RKN) is aimed at contributing to the quality of life of the people of Brunei Darussalam, boosting economic activity and generating job opportunities for locals, and enhancing accessibility to basic facilities, all towards increasing productivity through efficiency and revenue.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah said this at the 17th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday.

In his budget speech on the topic of the RKN in the deliberations on the Supply Bill 2021/2022, he provided updates on the progress of the 11th RKN that has been completed and ongoing.

He said 189 projects have been ratified in the 11th RKN, including three that were approved in the financial year 2020-2021, including projects of the supply of electrical system network in Mukim Sukang, Belait District.

Of the 189 projects, 20 have been implemented, including 13 projects carried forward from the 10th RKN.

Some of the projects highlighted included the Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Bridge opened on March 17, 2020; the Pulau Muara Besar (PMB) project that has contributed to a 5.5 per cent increase in gross domestic product (GDP); the upgrade of Jalan Perindustrian Serasa towards the PMB Bridge to enhance accessibility to industries and create spin-off activities in the fisheries industry; the prawn farming industry in operation at the prawn farming industrial area at Kampong Keramut, Mukim Telisai; the Arabic School in Kampong Rimba which began operations on January 13, 2020; the project to establish BSL-3 certified laboratories with supporting BSL-2 laboratories; the Royal Brunei Police Force Academy Master Plan; and three other projects to reinforce the electrical system and supply network in Brunei-Muara, Tutong and Belait districts.

He said 77 projects are still in progress, including infrastructure projects and programmes to enhance skills and human capital capacity.

These projects include the construction of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) and Sultan Hassan Secondary School; Agriculture, agrifood and fisheries projects such as the supplemental irrigation scheme for paddy fields in remote areas; the boosting of vegetable production output through advanced technologies, including the electrical supply at Agrotechnology Park in Kampong Tungku; the planning for livestock industry to increase output including electric supply to the Agriculture Development Area of Merangking Phase I in Belait and the Laboratory and Centre for Research, Analysis and Reference for Livestock Diseases programme; Developing the opening aquaculture industrial areas in Kampong Tanah Jambu, Sungai Paku and Kampong Rampayoh; and the programme to boost aquaculture industry output including to the enhance irrigation system for the prawn farm zone in Pengkalan Sibabau Zone 3, Kampong Mentiri.

He also discussed a current project of water flow supply and sewerage, including the project Phase I flood control pools for Tutong District, and the project to upgrade the main river and tributaries.

Still in the proposal, biding and design stage are 88 projects, including the new building for Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB); the upgrade of the Brunei Museums building and exhibition building in Kota Batu; Tanah Jambu Housing Phase 7 and the upgrade of government schools infrastructure.