Singapore businesses are seeking greater assistance and cash payouts to raise productivity, according to a recent survey by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI).
About six out of 10 of those surveyed said that would like greater financial assistance and an extended list of equipment and machinery to qualify under the Productivity Innovation Credit Scheme.
Other requests that followed closely behind included a reduction in transport costs e.g. road tax, COE, ERP rates (55.6%), more transparency in the work pass renewal criteria (46.9%), flexibility of managing work pass renewals (38.9%), and providing wage subsidies (37.7%).
Some 176 companies participated in SCCCI’s Pre-Budget 2013 Survey, which aimed to find out what companies wished to see in the upcoming Budget and gain an overview of the current general business sentiment in Singapore.
In the previous year, companies surveyed had asked for a reduction in corporate tax and a review of foreign manpower policy. The 2013 survey comes right after a recent call by businesses to review the national productivity target.
According to the SCCCI survey, companies are also more cautious and less optimistic about the business environment in Singapore this year compared to 2012. “With the irreversible manpower policy in place, companies continue to embark on the restructuring process to improve productivity and reduce reliance on foreign manpower,” said the SCCCI in the report.
The SCCCI is urging the government to consider these five recommendations:
To enable more enterprises to better leverage on PIC in their restructuring process
To provide greater transparency, flexibility and certainty in manpower policies
To enhance grant / loan scheme to eligible companies
To streamline application & reimbursement processes of grants
To assist SMEs in overseas markets, particularly ASEAN (e.g. Malaysia) and China
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