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Singapore Budget 2014: $500m plan to help local firms step up use of infocomms technology

Published on Feb 21, 2014 4:20 PM
 
Checking stock availability at Million Lighting with a new IT system. The Government will subsidise the information and communications technology (ICT) costs for Singapore businesses over the next three years, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in his Budget speech in Parliament on Friday. -- PHOTO: INFOCOMM 

The Government will subsidise the information and communications technology (ICT) costs for Singapore businesses over the next three years, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in his Budget speech in Parliament on Friday.

It is rolling out three initiatives, which will cost a total of $500 million over the next three years, to help local firms step up their use of ICT.

The Government will subsidise 70 per cent of the costs of proven ICT products and services for some small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), expanding the reach of existing sector-specific schemes.

"ICT is transforming almost every industry internationally," Mr Tharman said. "While the public sector and our larger corporations have been actively leveraging ICT, we have to help our SMEs step up adoption of ICT solutions."

Secondly, the Government will encourage companies to implement innovative technologies that are new to Singapore, supporting 80 per cent of the qualifying costs for firms over the next three years. This support will be capped at $1 million per participating company.

The Government will also subsidise SMEs' fibre broadband subscription plans of at least 100 Mbps and support them in implementing Wireless@SG services at their premises.

In addition, it will pay building owners for up to 80 per cent of the costs of new in-building infrastructure, in order to ensure that they can provide fibre broadband to their business tenants. This is capped at $200,000 per building.

For more news and analysis on Singapore Budget 2014, click here for ST's Big Story coverage.