Budget2020: Over RM1 Billion Boost for SMEs and Entrepreneurs


The latest business and entrepreneurship allocations from Budget 2020.

We have compiled the salient points on Government funding, entrepreneurship and tax scheme from the full text of Budget 2020, delivered by the Finance Minister on 11 October 2019 in the Parliament of Malaysia (click here for the full text of the speech) :

Read also: Full Budget2020 Summary

In Support Of Entrepreneurship

  1. An allocation of RM25 million will be given to set up a contestable matching grant fund to spur more pilot projects on digital applications such as drone delivery, autonomous vehicle, blockchain technology, and other products and services that leverage on our investments in fibre optics and 5G infrastructure.
  2. The Government will provide RM20 million to Cradle Fund for the provision of training and grants to seed companies.
  3. The Government will continue providing funds of RM10 million to MDEC to train micro-digital entrepreneurs and technologists to leverage on e-Marketplaces and social media platforms to sell their products. 100 of these micro-digital entrepreneurs, a majority of whom are women and youth, were able to generate RM23 million in revenues over just 6 months, unleashing life changing experiences.
  4. To further support our up and coming entrepreneurs, SME Bank will introduce two new funds where the Government will provide an annual interest subsidy of 2% to reduce borrowing costs as follows:
    • a RM200 million fund specifically for women entrepreneurs, offering loans of up to RM1 million per SME; and
    • a RM300 million fund to support Bumiputera SMEs with the potential to become regional champions, with priority given to producers of halal products and manufacturers with high local content.
  5. The government will further allocate an additional RM50 million to My Co-Investment Fund (MyCIF) under the Securities Commission Malaysia to leverage such platforms to help finance the underserved SMEs.
  6. The Government will provide a RM1 billion 1:5 matching guarantee for dedicated private equity funds to invest in Malaysian consortiums.
  7. The Government will continue to support strategic projects through financing programmes under Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad, offering a 2% interest subsidy per annum via:
    • the Sustainable Development Financing Fund size increased from RM1 billion to RM2 billion;
    • the RM1 billion Maritime & Logistics Fund; and
    • the RM2 billion Industry Digitalisation Transformation Fund which will now also support the implementation of connectivity projects.
  8. The Government has provided RM100 million for Small Business Loans (Program Pembiayaan Usahawan Perusahaan Kecil Komuniti Cina) for the Chinese community via Bank Simpanan Nasional with more than 380 branches throughout the country, at an interest rate of 4%.
  9. For the palm oil sector, the Government intends to support this industry with the following measures:
    • RM550 million palm oil replanting loan fund for smallholders collateral-free at an interest rate of 2% per annum, with a tenure of 12 years including a 4 year moratorium on repayment. The replanting will be undertaken using the latest seedlings and also in compliance with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) standards to ensure better productivity and marketability;
    • An allocation of RM27 million to support Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s (MPOB) efforts to market palm oil internationally and counter anti-palm oil campaigns;
    • Enhance implementation of biodiesel, with the B20 biodiesel for the transport sector to be implemented by the end of 2020. This is expected to increase palm oil demand by 500,000 tonnes per annum.
  10. To better facilitate access to financing for SMEs in priority segments, the Government will implement enhancements to the Skim Jaminan Pinjaman Perniagaan (SJPP). For Bumiputera SMEs, export-oriented SMEs and SMEs investing in automation and digitalisation, the Government guarantee will be increased from 70% to 80% and in addition, will reduce the guarantee fee to only 0.75%. A new SJPP allocation of RM500 million in guarantee facility will also be launched, earmarked for women entrepreneurs.
  11. To support Bumiputera entrepreneurial development, grants amounting to RM445 million will be provided in terms of access to financing, provision of business premises and entrepreneur training. This includes:
  12. The Government will continue to support strategic projects through financing programmes under Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad, offering a 2% interest subsidy per annum via:
    • the Sustainable Development Financing Fund size increased from RM1 billion to RM2 billion;
    • the RM1 billion Maritime & Logistics Fund; and
    • the RM2 billion Industry Digitalisation Transformation Fund which will now also support the implementation of connectivity projects.
  13. For Indian entrepreneurs, the Government will provide RM20 million under TEKUN Nasional’s Skim Pembangunan Usahawan Masyarakat India (SPUMI) which is expected to benefit 1,300 entrepreneurs at an interest rate of 4%.
  14. The Government has embarked on a comprehensive review and revamp of the existing incentive framework, comprising the Promotion of Investments Act 1986, Special Incentive Package and incentives under the Income Tax Act 1967. This new framework is expected to be ready by 1 January 2021.
  15. The Government will also provide tax incentives to further promote high-value added activities in the Electrical and Electronics (E&E) industry to transition into 5G digital economy and Industry. These incentives include:
    • income tax exemption up to 10 years to E&E companies investing in selected knowledge-based services; and
    • special Investment Tax Allowance to encourage companies in E&E sector that have exhausted the Reinvestment Allowance to further reinvest in Malaysia.
  16. The Government is increasing the allocation from RM5.7 billion in 2019 to RM5.9 billion in 2020 on the Technical & Vocational Education & Training (TVET), including to:
    • further strengthen the public and private sectors’ synergy on the TVET programme through increased funding of the State Skills Development Centres (SSDCs). The Government will provide RM50 million through Perbadanan Tabung Pembangunan Kemahiran (PTPK) to fund TVET courses conducted by SSDCs;
    • promote greater industry collaboration by Public Skills Training Institutions (ILKA) by allowing ILKAs to utilise surplus revenues generated from TVET courses provided to the industry for expenditures such as upgrading equipment and hiring trainers from industry and providing matching grant fund of RM20 million to support customised TVET courses undertaken in collaboration with industries.
  17. The Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) will collaborate with the industry to provide TVET training linked to employment opportunities. For this purpose, the Government will provide RM30 million to train more than 3,000 youths from low income households.
  18. Additionally, to assist farmers in their time of need, the Government will establish a RM100 million Disaster Assistance Fund to provide loans at an interest rate of 4%.
  19. The Government will allocate RM10 million towards a joint Government-UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) fund to co- finance SDG initiatives in Malaysia. In addition, the Government will allocate RM5 million to support the convening of Parliamentary Select Committee meetings and also for greater engagement by Members of Parliament with civil society, including to address the Sustainable Development Goals at the local level.
  20. Contributions towards Digital Social Responsibility (DSR) by the companies will be given tax deduction. Effective date hasn’t been provided.
  21. To further encourage alternative sources of funding for startups companies and to attract more foreign investment to Malaysia, tax incentives given to venture capital and angel investors will be extended until the year 2023.
  22. The current tax deductions on the cost of issuance and additional deductions on sukuk issuance costs under the principle of Wakalah will be extended for 5 years until year of assessment 2025.
  23. To further promote Islamic fund and Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) fund management activity, the tax exemption for fund management companies managing Shariah compliant funds and SRI funds, and the tax deduction on the cost of issuing SRI Sukuk will be extended for another 3 years until year of assessment 2023.
  24. The Green Investment Tax Allowance (GITA) and Green Income Tax Exemption (GITE) incentives will be extended to 2023. A 70% income tax exemption of up to 10 years will be given to companies undertaking solar leasing activities.
  25. It is proposed that qualifying intellectual property income derived from patent and copyright software of qualifying activities be given tax exemption for a period of up to 10 years. The Modified Nexus Approach (MNA) will be adopted to ensure this.
  26. To amplify the economic benefits of VMY2020, the Government will roll out a host of tax incentives targeted at the arts and tourism sector, such as:
    • Income tax exemption be given for organisers of approved arts and cultural activities, approved international sports recreational competitions, and conferences organisers;
    • New investments in international theme park projects will be given income tax exemption of 100% of statutory income or Investment Tax Allowance of 100% to be set off against 70% for 5 years;
    • Increasing tax deductions given to companies sponsoring arts, cultural and heritage activities in Malaysia from RM700,000 to RM1,000,000 per year.
  27. The Government will also extend double tax deduction on expenses incurred by companies participating in Skim Latihan Dual Nasional (SLDN) for another two years. In addition, the double tax deduction currently given to companies undertaking Structured Internship Programme (SIP) approved by Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp) will be expanded to include students from all academic fields rather than just engineering and technology.
  28. Digital Services Tax will be implemented with effect from 1 January 2020 to include services such as but not limited to downloaded software, music, video or digital advertising.
  29. To further encourage the private sector to donate as part of their corporate social responsibility, effective 5 September 2019, the Government has increased the donation reporting threshold from RM5,000 to RM10,000 under Subsection 44(6) of the Income Tax Act 1967. This will subsequently be increased to RM20,000 beginning 2020.
  30. The SME income tax rate for Chargeable Income up to the first RM500,000 was reduced by 1% to 17% in 2019. To further support the growth of the SME, the chargeable income subjected to 17% rate will be increased to RM600,000, subject to the SME having paid-up capital of not more than RM2.5 million and annual sales of not more than RM50 million.

Read also: Ministry of Finance – Economic Outlook 2020

Information source: GLT Law – Gan, Lee & Tan

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