Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic) tabled a RM962.19 million budget with a RM255.44 million deficit for next year at the state legislative assembly this afternoon.
He said the state estimates a revenue of more than RM587.75 million but its management expenses will be more than RM843.2 million.
The deficit, he said, would be covered by the state's accumulated savings, which stood at RM825.28 million as at December 31 last year.
"The state's financial condition is still sound with surpluses recorded yearly. We had a RM114.47 million surplus in 2012, the second highest in Penang's history," he said when tabling the state's budget.
In 2011 and 2012, the state had deficit budgets of RM107.8 million and RM213.7 million, respectively. This year, the budget came with a RM262.04 million deficit.
Next year's estimated revenue of RM587.75 million is lower than this year's RM708.52 million by 17.05%, Lim said, with more than 62.5% of the earnings from non-tax revenue while the rest came from tax revenue (22.8%) and non-revenue receipts (14.64%).
Lim also drew attention to the reduced deficit for next year compared with this year's deficit of RM262.04 million, which he said, is because 2013 had higher management expenses at RM970.56 million.
"The reduction is because of the decrease in contributions to the state development fund as well as funding to the Penang Development Corporation for affordable housing schemes," he said.
However, he said, the state has increased its allocation of RM75 million to RM111.47 million next year to fund various welfare and social programmes benefitting senior citizens, children, the disabled, students, single mothers, housewives and others.
Meanwhile, the development budget for 2014 is RM239 million, which consists of RM229 million from the state and RM10 million loan from the federal government. - November 29, 2013.