Pikom welcomes budget incentives for the growth of the digital economy

  • Newly announced Budget 2019 to spur the digital economy
  • Disappointment on lack of incentives for corporate sector & personal relief

Pikom welcomes budget incentives for the growth of the digital economy

THE National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM)'s chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah is cautiously optimistic that the measures announced in Friday's Budget 2019 speech will spur the digital economy.

Ganesh shares Pikom’s perspective on some of the key announcements and offer some quick thoughts on each. He also highlights two announcements that Pikom felt should have been made and why these are important,

In a press statement, he says that PIKOM is looking forward to the government's allocation of more than RM5 billion for the adoption of Industry 4.0 for the years 2019-2021 to encourage the adoption of Industry 4.0 for the manufacturing sector. 

"This would benefit many of our members who are already providing solutions in Big Data/IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing and Automation," he said.

Ganesh also spoke about the matching grant of RM2 billion between GLIF (Government-linked Investment Fund) and private sector for high growth tech companies.

He expects that this would have a catalytic effect on Malaysia’s tech funding ecosystem and encourage the expansion of tech companies and to scale their operations globally.

Additionally, PIKOM applauds the government's proposed plan to offer 30Mbps broadband connectivity outside urban centres within five years under the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan as part of its commitment towards the digitalisation of Malaysia's economy. This will have a catalytic effect in the ICT Industry especially spurring the growth of the e-commerce sector in Malaysia.

The allocation of RM50 million for the Co-investment Fund for Equity Crowd Funding and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) is also expected to help start-ups at the seed and Series A funding-level, resulting in the creation of more local tech Intellectual Property (IP), said Ganesh.

PIKOM also welcomes the news of the allocation of RM10 million as the association recognises the growing importance of e-Sports through the formation of their new Special Interest Group on e-Sports in 2019 and is part of PIKOM's drive to attract the e-gaming community.

However, PIKOM was concerned that there was a lack of incentives for the corporate sector (beyond the manufacturing sector) in ICT and venture capital for increased startup investment and productivity. This includes tax rebates and exemptions.

Also, there have been no incentives for personal relief to drive consumer spending. For example, personal tax reduction and Employees Provident Fund withdrawal scheme for purchase of devices.

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