Continue supporting businesses, gig economy to boost growth — Corporate leaders

Continue supporting businesses, gig economy to boost growth — Corporate leaders
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 4): Given the uncertain economic landscape, corporate leaders are hoping that the upcoming Budget 2021 will focus on helping businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as the gig economy to encourage growth in economic activities.

Widad Group Bhd managing director Datuk Dr Mohd Rizal Mohd Jaafar wants to see pump priming measures in key economic sectors, particularly construction and infrastructure, as well as road and water works.

"This will not only help rejuvenate the civil and construction industry, but also spur and strengthen economic growth in related sectors which will help to increase consumption," he said in a statement today.

He also hopes for initiatives to help ease corporate cash flows through a more refined tax incentive system; for example, double tax deduction for no-layoff policies.

Gradual tax rate reductions as well as the extension of the Real Property Gains Tax waiver and stamp duty incentives for corporates would be also be welcomed, he said.

Pertama Digital Bhd executive director Sabri Ab Rahman hopes to see more initiatives for micro SMEs and SMEs.

"Gig economy players also need to be incentivised further to continue hand-holding individual service providers; for example, our food delivery heroes, on whom the food and beverages industry depends on today.

“The gig economy has not only become mainstream, but it is also a lifeline for many of us in these challenging times," he said.

While it is vital that the Budget includes additional cash aids, wage subsidies and assistance, Sabri said the government must accelerate the adoption of digital productivity en masse.

Iconic Worldwide Bhd managing director Datuk Tan Kean Tet said the government should consider extending the loan moratorium initiative for another six months as the mid- to low-income groups are not out of the woods yet.

He said more support should be provided to SMEs in the form of incentives and tax refunds.

On the property market, he said the government and banks should relax lending rules and be more lenient on loan approvals, as buyers are still facing difficulties in purchasing houses and obtaining loans.

Tan also urged the government to allocate more budget for hospitals during this period so that frontliners have access to sufficient supply of personal protective equipment.

"Further attention and care is needed from the government in ensuring that we win in this fight against COVID-19," he said.