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Budget 2016: Industry Largely Rah-rah, Some Concerns Remain
October 26, 2015
Digital News Asia

WHILE many industry players were largely enthusiastic about the national Budget 2016 that Malaysian Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak tabled in Parliament on Oct 23, some concerns remained.
 
Beyond allocations for broadband infrastructure and a host of entrepreneurship initiatives, many for rural and under-developed communities, there was not much that was directly relevant to the technology industry.
 
And the proposed national budget fell short in addressing certain critical issues, according to Hitachi Sunway Information Systems group chief executive officer Cheah Kok Hoong.
 
Cheah praised the ‘people-centric’ focus of Budget 2016, especially against the backdrop of falling oil and commodity prices, the severe depreciation of the Malaysian ringgit, and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
 
“However, all in all, Budget 2016 still falls short in addressing the challenges faced by the enterprise ICT industry,” he said in a statement.
 
“The reality is that the current economic landscape has set off a series of chain reactions which is seriously affecting spending decisions,” said Cheah (pic), also the chairman of the National ICT Association (Pikom).
 
“In this sense, we were hopeful that immediate measures such tax allowances, zero-rated GST and even re-investment allowance incentives for companies with export capabilities would be introduced.
 
“These would not only encourage continuous investment in technology and increase productivity, it would also provide the opportunity for businesses to compete meaningfully in the domestic as well as international market,” he said.
 
Prior to the unveiling of Budget 2016, Pikom had made some recommendations that it believed would support the industry, as well as boost ICT use amongst rural and underserved communities. It had also recommended that the Government regulate broadband rates in the country.

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