Pikom lauds attention given to the digital economy in Budget 2020
By Digital News Asia October 16, 2019
- More attention given to upskilling and training development
- Imperative to emphasise on application-based incentives for local SMEs
AS THE representative of the tech industry in Malaysia, Pikom is supportive of the government’s various incentives outlined in Budget 2020 recently. It puts short-term, medium-term and long-term goals in more realistic perspectives, leading up to Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.
Pikom chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah (pic) said, “We are pleased to see that there will be special incentives for startups to penetrate the world market. IR4 received the boost needed in the form of upskilling and training development via HRDF. The RM20 million will be a start in our quest to remain competitive.
“For larger companies, the matching grant up to RM2 million would put them in good stead and allow them to make investments in technology. Infrastructure for 5G is the key backbone for the digital age but without applications, the ‘highway’ built would not be of relevant use. Pikom continues to call for a dedicated Tech Ministry to oversee the overall growth of this industry as well as manage various incentive policies and growth of SMEs.”
It was positive to note that the startup scene was not left behind. Recognising the importance, Cradle and MDEC received funding to adopt technology for the continuous development of startups and micro enterprises. Even though RM5,000 for each SME may not be much, it would be able to kickstart their journey as they subscribe to cloud services such as accounting, HR, POS, inventory management, and others.
Ganesh also noted that the biggest allocation was for education and rightly so since the lifeblood of the country is always its people. He continued, “Focus on STEM and TVET will help position Malaysia well in preparing the future workforce. To cap it off, setting up of the Digital Enablement Centres will help SMEs and other businesses to refer to them as a one-stop shop for all their digital questions.”
Pikom also appreciated the budget allocation for content development to encourage more content developers to join this field and make Malaysia a centre for creative content including e-sports.
The proposal for e-wallet incentive is a boon and will have a transformative effect in creating the cashless society.
Export promotion also received a shot in the arm by increasing the allocation for the Market Development Grant, which will greatly help in increasing global market penetration for local tech players.
Pikom looks forward to working closely with the government in addressing the withholding tax and the digital service tax grey areas prior to its implementation on Jan 1, 2020.