By KEVIN WONG / Pic By PIKOM
The National ICT Association of Malaysia (Pikom) has urged the government to address three issues affecting the growth of the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry.
In a statement, Pikom chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah (picture) said the government should address three areas of concerns regarding the ICT industry.
“In particular, we would like to see the exemption of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) for ICT products, taxfree status for MSC Malaysia-status companies and implementation of the venture capital incentives, as announced earlier,” Ganesh said.
“The reintroduction of SST is creating a sense of anxiety in the industry as businesses prepare to migrate to the new tax regime. Prior to the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax on April 1, 2015, a majority of the ICT products were exempted from SST.
“In addition, providing Malaysians access to affordable ICT devices is imperative to build a digital economy in the country and for the industry to be competitive in the Asean region,” Ganesh said, adding that Pikom has called on the government to include all ICT products and services to be exempted from SST.
Pikom is also seeking clarity regarding the suspension of the MSC Malaysia-status application and the changes in the Bill of Guarantees (BoG).
“The BoG is defined as a set of incentives, rights and privileges that reflect the government’s commitment to provide an environment that is conducive to the development of these companies and the digital economy.
“As the BoG wes developed to attract investments in the ICT sector, prolonged suspension of MSC Malaysia- status application will create a climate of uncertainty among investors,” he said.
Pikom has also sought the confirmation on the status of the slew of incentives which were announced previously during Budget 2018.
Ganesh said the need for intervention and incentives for investments in the early-stage and growth-stage businesses are imperative for the development of start-ups, to ensure the companies thrive to the fullest potential.