JITRA, Nov 9 — The Kedah government is expected to receive additional revenue despite the decision to stop logging activities and revoking logging licences in the Ulu Muda Forest Reserve areas in the district of Sik, which took effect immediately several months ago.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah said this followed the announcement in the 2019 Budget recently which proposed to give an allocation of RM60 million to the states which did not cut down their forests in efforts to preserve the environment.
“By revoking the timber concessions in the Ulu Muda area. I am certain the state government is qualified to receive part of the total allocation of RM60 million, thus increasing the state revenue.
“This forms part of the efforts of the federal government to narrow down the gap between the states with smaller revenue and the developed states,” he told reporters after visiting a poor resident, Wong Ah Yoon in Taman Muhibbah, here today.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng when tabling the 2019 Budget at the Dewan Rakyat recently said the government planned to allocate RM60 million to the states which took the efforts to preserve their existing protected areas and increase the new protected areas.
In September, Water, Land and Natural Resource Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar was also reported to have said that the Federal Government considered the decision of the state government to stop logging activities and immediately revoke logging licences in the Ulu Muda Forest Reserve as the best decision to prevent water catchment areas from being polluted.
The Ulu Muda Forest Reserve with an area of about 100,000 hectares is located in Sik and functions as a water catchment area for the Ahning, Pedu and Muda dams in the state besides Perlis and Penang involving a total population of 4.09 million.
In another development, Amiruddin, who is also the Member of Parliament for Kubang Pasu, said that he deeply appreciated the cooperation and assistance of corporate bodies in the efforts to improve the livelihood of the people in the state. — Bernama