Terengganu Still Waiting For Remaining Royalty Payment

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KUALA TERENGGANU: The Terengganu state government is still waiting for the remaining RM250 million in oil royalty payment which has yet to be settled by the federal government for this year.

Menteri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar said it was the responsibility of the federal government to review the comprehensive amount which should be paid to the state based on the distribution agreement signed between the two parties in 1974.

He said after the 14th general election in May, the federal government made three payments involving a total sum of RM450 million which were channelled directly to the state government.

“We are not sure of the actual amount, but based on rough estimates at least RM250 million is still owing to the state government.

“With two days left before the year ends, it remains the responsibility of the Treasury or the Finance Ministry to ensure that the balance is paid to the people of Terengganu,” he told reporters after the Eastern Pacific Industrial Corporation (EPIC) Media Appreciation Night here.

Also present was EPIC Berhad acting chief executive officer Mohd Shamsol Bahrin Mohd Kamil.

Ahmad Samsuri said that if the state government failed to claim the oil royalty balance, the state’s expenditure for the first quarter of next year will still be maintained according to the budget tabled in the state assembly sitting in November.

“We will consider reviewing the budget after the first quarter,” he said.

In another development, Ahmad Samsuri said investors’ confidence in the state-owned company, Eastern Pacific Industrial Corporation (EPIC) had not been affected although several of its senior officials were being investigated.

Ahmad Samsuri said at present there was no need for the state government to appoint a new committee to lead EPIC Berhad as they were confident of the existing management’s capabilities.

In mid November the social media carried viral news of the CEO’s office being chained up to prevent the key personnel from entering his office at Jalan Pejabat, here. — BERNAMA