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Construction Sector Among Beneficiaries In Budget 2010 Print E-mail
Monday, 09 November 2009 00:52
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 (Bernama) -- The construction sector is among the beneficiaries of Budget 2010, receiving RM9 billion in allocation which will finance particularly infrastructure projects next year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Friday.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister said RM4.7 billion would be used for road and bridge projects; RM2.6 billlion for water supply and sewerage services; RM899 million for rail facilities; RM820 milllion for ports and sea services as well as RM276 million for airport projects.

Presenting the budget at the Parliament here Friday, he said the construction industry recorded positive growth despite a difficult economic environment.

"This sector has the potential to be further developed with the implementation of various government development projects. These measures will also reinvigorate building materials related industries and intensify the services sector," Najib said.

As part of Malaysia's strategy to move towards a high-income economy, he said the government would also be focusing on growing niche areas that can move up the value chain as well as generate higher returns for the country.

The identified areas include tourism, information communication technology(ICT), finance and Islamic banking, halal, and the green technology industry, Najib said.

For the tourism sector, the government has allocated RM899 million next year, of which part of the funds would be used to upgrade the quality of infrastructure of tourism centres throughout the country.

Besides that, Najib said the government was also aiming to attract more participants from the United Kingdom, Japan, Republic of Korea, Middle East, India and China for its "Malaysia My Second Home" programme.

To further promote the medical tourism industry, the government will enhance tax incentives for healthcare service providers who offer services to foreign health tourists.

"Income tax exemption of 50 percent on the value of exports will be increased to 100 percent. This will enable healthcare service providers to offer high quality health services and attract more health tourists," Najib said.

On the halal industry, the government would formulate the Halal Act, in collaboration with the state Islamic Religious Council, will be the basis for the development, regulation and enforcement of halal industry activities.

Najib said the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) would be also incorporated as an agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). The HDC will prepare and implement an action plan for the development of halal industry.

"The government will also develop the halal products anti-smuggling system at three entry points and three main ports to facilitate agencies such as Royal Customs Malaysia, Department of Veterinary Services and Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) to prevent smuggling activities as well as reduce the risk of pandemic diseases. An amount of RM24 million will be provided," he said.

To strengthen small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the government has allocated RM350 million to SME Corporation, of which RM200 million will be for SME soft loans, RM100 million for capacity enhancement, and balance for branding and promotion.

It has also allocated RM538 million for the implementation of various SME development programmes, including RM281 million to state economic development corporations, RM200 million to Tabung Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (TEKUN) and RM57 million for business premises and provision of infrastructure.

On the creative industry, Najib said a comprehensive Creative Industry Policy will be formulated to develop the industry.

"The government will establish a RM200 million Creative Industry Fund to finance activities, which will be managed by Bank Simpanan Nasional. To ensure the welfare of artistes, Tabung Kebajikan Penggiat Seni will be established. For this, a launching grant of RM3 million will be provided," he said.

-- BERNAMA


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