Budget 2016 is very much a people-centric budget that focuses on pertinent bread-and-butter issues. This is particularly important amidst falling oil and commodity prices, depreciation of the Malaysian ringgit, goods and services tax (GST) implementation coupled with political instability that has impacted the economy considerably.
In the realm of enterprise ICT, raising Internet speeds from an average of 5Mbps (megabits per second) to 20Mbps is a welcome measure which we hope will encourage more enterprises to move into Cloud services. Also it is commendable that there have been allocation to spur digital innovation amongst the young.
However, all in all Budget 2016 still falls short in addressing the challenges faced by the enterprise ICT industry. The reality is the current economic landscape has set off a series of chain reactions which is seriously affecting spending decisions. 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.
Comment by Cheah Kok Hoong, Group Chief Executive Officer, Hitachi Sunway Information Systems