Friday, September 28, 2007

Budget 2008: The Neglected SMEs

Last week in my regular column in Oriental Daily, I wrote on the fact that in the latest Budget 2008 announced by the Datuk Seri Abdullah was extremely disappointing for it neglected the largest productive sectors of the economy, both the manufacturing sector as well as the small medium enterprises (SMEs).

In the entire 44-page budget, there was only 1 incentive for the SMEs, that is taxes for new start ups can be paid in a more flexible fashion within the first 2 years. The manufacturing sector, despite contributing to 30% of our economy, was not mentioned at all except when it was mentioned that it is only expected to grow 3.8% in 2008 from the estimated weak 3.1% in 2007.

Both the SMEs and the manufacturing sectors are facing huge challenges in terms of globalisation and competition. The fact that the Government made no additional incentives or policies to enhance the competitiveness of our local companies relative to our neighbours and competitors is just "shocking". Clearly, there are some misplaced priorities in the Government's economy policies despite the record-breaking RM176.9 billion budget expenditure.




政府刚刚宣布的2008年预算案,其预算的1千769亿令吉开销再创历史新高。若跟10年前相比,这笔开销无疑增加了两倍。因此,国内企业界总是期待政府通过 庞大的开销,为它们带来一些有利及具有创意的新政策。








Unknown said...

Why are you dissapointed Tony, knowing before hand that his budget will only benefit the industries that sekomi is involved in, nothing new with this merrydollah, let's kick him out.

Unknown said...

It has already been made clear on the recent Budget that our GDP growth is fuelled by domestic consumption. Hopefully more Mega Sale will boost local activity to make up for the lacklusture performance in the manufacturing sector.

What we see on Budget is only some percentage waiver of taxes here and there with hope the private sector will take care of themselves to improve on the quality aspects.

Government agency like MATRADE is staffed by incompetent frontline personnel who can't give proper advise over overseas import regulation. How can local SMEs penetrate the export market if they can't even receive market intelligence?

zewt said...

announcements of incentives are no longer confined to just during the budget... who knows...