Budget 2021: Digitalisation initiatives will support ongoing recovery efforts by businesses

Bernard Yap, Partner at EY Private Tax and Financial Services Leader, Ernst & Young Tax Consultants Sdn Bhd said with an additional RM150m allocated under the SME Digitalization Grant Scheme and the Automation Grant in Budget 2021, it is time SMEs embrace automation and digitalization in their operations.

The Government has allocated RM150 million for the Shop Malaysia Online initiative.

“Now, smaller-scale, local entrepreneurs are also able to access the country’s digital economy by having universal e-commerce platforms that will open up new opportunities not available previously in their traditional mode of operations,” he said.

E-wallet player, Boost has welcomed Putrajaya’s proposed effort to encourage business digitalisation, especially among MSMEs via another round of the E-Commerce SME & Micro-SME Campaign and Shop Malaysia Online initiative.

“The renewed programmes are expected to positively impact over 500,000 entrepreneurs and enterprises. These two initiatives equip and support enterprises with digital tools and strategies that will go a long way in setting up these businesses to become crisis-proof as we enter somewhat uncharted territory in a post-pandemic era,” said Mohd Khairil Abdullah, CEO of Boost.

“We are also encouraged by the introduction of the eBelia programme providing another RM50 e-wallet incentive to 1.5 million youth aged 18 to 20 years, further cultivating a cashless society. This is an important proposal from the Government as it will increase the stickiness of e-wallet use and adoption amongst young Malaysians.”

BPMB President and Group CEO, Arshad Mohamed Ismail has also applauded the Budget.

“The decision to extend the Digitalisation Transformation Scheme will help stimulate digitalisation initiatives with availability of funds until 31 December 2023. We believe these financial support schemes are timely and effective in catalysing national economic recovery,” he said.

WeWork’s Managing Director, Pacific, Samit Chopra has also welcomed the various allocations, grants and programmes to provide financial assistance to businesses to support their ongoing recovery.

“For example, loosening conditions to allow micro-SMEs and startups to also be eligible for the additional RM150 million allocation provided under the SME Digitization Grant Scheme and the Automation Grant, not to mention the efforts to encourage e-commerce, will also have spillover benefits that will serve to increase confidence in the national economy as a whole,” he said.

Furthermore, the government’s allocation of RM27 million to the Cybersecurity Malaysia was welcomed by Cisco Malaysia.

Managing Director, Albert Chai said the move will bolster the confidence of businesses and investors in the e-economy.

“Cisco remain committed in making available products and solutions specifically for the SMB segment under the Cisco Designed portfolio including offering a 0% SMB financing plan for Malaysian businesses,” he said.

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