KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 7): The government has approved the award of Smart Automation Grants (SAG) with a total (1:1) matching value of RM99.5 million to 167 companies as of Oct 31 this year, said Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
He said 86% of the grant recipients were small and medium enterprises (SMEs) while the rest were mid-tier companies (MTCs).
SAG, launched in July last year with a RM50 million allocation to help SMEs and MTCs automate their production processes and business operations, attracted a lot of interest so an additional RM50 million in funding was allocated for the programme under the PEMERKASA package announced in March 2021.
“This has brought the total SAG grant allocation to RM100 million and it is given in a 50-50 match up to a maximum limit of RM1 million per company,” he said when winding up the committee-level debate on the Supply Bill 2022 (Budget 2022) in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday.
He noted there were seven eligibility criteria for SAG, such as that the companies must be involved in manufacturing and service activities.
On the RM2 billion special strategic investment fund to attract high-impact projects, Mohamed Azmin said it was to ensure Malaysia could attract investments from world-class companies as well as mega and strategic projects.
“This is in line with the National Investment Aspirations (NIA) to be able to compete against other countries in the region and offer more competitive incentives for the projects we have determined.
“Projects targeted through this fund are expected to generate investments of more than RM101.3 billion with employment opportunities for more than 12,700 people involving the country’s priority sectors, namely semiconductors, digital infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and smart technology,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Azmin said the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) study of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) would be completed by the end of the year.
“Once the CBA is ready, we will be able to share the information and findings from this CBA with the public,” he said.
The debate session was attended by 18 Members of Parliament and the Dewan Rakyat approved the estimated operating expenditure of RM585.75 million for the International Trade and Industry Ministry in Budget 2022.