IPOH, Jan 24 — The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) has coordinated investments worth RM4.34 billion in Perak and created 7,122 jobs last year, further strengthening the state’s socio-economic recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Its chief executive, Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said the success was achieved through the implementation of high-impact projects and strategic investment initiatives that had developed a conducive infrastructure ecosystem to revitalise the tourism sector in the state.

“NCIA has implemented the project and initiative in line with the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2021-2025 to assist in the recovery process of the local tourism industry that has been affected by Covid-19.

“Strategic and high-impact projects that have been implemented will give economic benefits resulting in an increase in business activity and creating economic opportunities as well as enhancing the overall local tourism ecosystem that will benefit the people,” he said in a statement, here, today.

He said in line with the government’s efforts to decrease the Covid-19 impact and achieve zero hardcore poverty by 2025, 150 participants in the NCIA people-based human capital programmes such as “Kasih Ibu Darul Ridzuan” (KIDR), “empowerNCER” and “entrepreneurNCER” would be able to benefit from various economic activities and projects.

Aside from that, the NCIA Strategic Intervention Programme (SIP) will also help the unemployed, retrenched workers and also entrepreneurs in various sectors including tourism.

NCIA also has enhanced the [email protected] and [email protected] programmes by extending the salary subsidy incentives from six months to one year to sustain businesses and support them during the recovery period.

So far, according to Jebasingam, the NCER Human Capital Programme has given significant benefits to 17,604 people from 2019 to 2021 and 12,983 from January to December, 2021, in Perak in line with the National Recovery Plan.

Meanwhile, the Ipoh Heritage Tourism Project is one of the NCIA’s key initiatives to revitalise the Perak tourism sector which is now on a strong track to record a recovery this year after experiencing a significant increase in tourist arrivals.

Jebasingam said that as part of the Ipoh Heritage Tourism Project, a new attraction in Ipoh Padang will also be open to the public soon.

“It will include a light and sound show infrastructure to display the history and culture of Perak along with other tourist destinations in the state as well as the memoir of the famed cartoonist from Perak, Datuk Lat.

“Under the second phase of Ipoh Heritage Tourism Project, NCIA will upgrade the old Ipoh Municipal Hall building into a Cultural Arts Centre and the Old Post Office will be converted into a Digital Art Gallery, with construction expected to begin in the second quarter of 2022,” he said.

NCIA will also work with the  Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa) on a comprehensive development project for the Orang Asli community in Lata Kinjang where the project development strategy includes the implementation of the NCER Human Capital Programme for the Lata Kinjang community and upgrading tourism infrastructure in Taman Eko-Rimba Lata Kinjang. — Bernama