KUCHING,. The implementation of the second Variation of Price (VOP 2.0) through Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 9.0 can boost the state’s construction sector, said Senior Public Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
The Petra Jaya MP and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) parliamentary chief whip in a statement today said the initiative will help contractors in Sarawak in facing the rising prices of building materials and prevent small contractors from going out of business.
He said the VOP 2.0, of which the Sarawak government is estimated to bear the cost of approximately RM700 million, ensures that the government’s projects will not be affected and can be completed according to schedule.
“COVID-19 has caused an increase in the price of construction materials at a global level which, among other things, has affected processing activities that led to the hike in raw material costs,” read the statement.
In addition, he said, policy changes by other countries such as China that decided not to export certain goods also contribute to the issue.
VOP 2.0 involves 25 additional building materials namely 15 materials for construction work and 10 materials for engineering work to cover the increase in the price of building materials for all state government projects.
Fadillah said during a meeting, that the surge in construction material prices was one of the issues highlighted by construction industry players that are burdening them, especially the contractors, to the point of affecting project implementation.
Earlier, Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg announced that the VOP 2.0 was one of the five measures taken by the state government under BKSS 9.0 from July to December, with a total allocation of almost RM1 billion.
He said the BKSS 9.0 also involved a 25 per cent discount for annual assessment rate above RM400 and a 30 per cent discount for annual assessment rate below RM400 within the same period, as well as discounts of between 10 and 25 per cent for water supply bills, five and 25 per cent for electricity bill and 50 per cent rental discount for stalls operated under the local authorities.