On the 18th. July 1996 through Government Gazette N0. 908 administrative areas of the Besut District Council were expanded, making the total area of the Council total 123,367.80 square km. There are 3 main cities and 4 settlement centers that play an important role in offering goods, services and administration to residents within the Besut District Council area. The cities are Jerteh, Kampong Raja and Kuala Besut, while the settlement centers consist of Pasir Akar, Jabi, Apal and Alor Lintah.
In the context of Terengganu State, and according to the Terengganu State Structure Plan study, Besut District acts as the regional center for the northern region of Terengganu State. Bandar Jertih will be the main city for the northern region of the state. Focus will be given to the development of basic agricultural industries and tourism services as well as the Agropolis area which is the center for the collection and marketing of agricultural produce.
Besut District will become a higher education center for the State of Terengganu with the proposed construction of Darul Iman University and Science Park in Tembila. Agricultural activities are the main generator of the economy of Besut District, especially in KEY areas, followed by service and tourism activities.
Besut District is the main producing area for rice, palm oil, tobacco and fruits for the State of Terengganu. The area of rice crops represents almost 75 percent of the area of rice crops for the State of Terengganu. This makes it a national food crop area that needs to be controlled and preserved.
In addition, oil palm also recorded the highest area of cultivation with 88,302 hectares in comparison Kemaman District with 84,388 hectares. Both of these districts are crop areas
the main oil palm for the State of Terengganu. Besides agriculture, Besut is also famous for its tourism activities which is its main asset which is Perhentian Island. Kuala Besut is the main jetty to Perhentian Island and it is a tourism center that has the potential to contribute to the development of the Besut District in the future.
Through the 2020 Census, the number of residents in the Council area in 2020 is 154, 168 people or 55% of the total population of Besut District and consists of 95% Malays, 4% Chinese and 1% other Nations.