Budget 2013 will be out on Feb 25, productivity improvement a key focus

Budget 2013 will be unveiled on Feb 25, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Saturday.

Among other things, a key focus of the budget will be on improving productivity levels to help businesses hit by the manpower crunch, said Mr Tharman, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a grassroots event in Taman Jurong.

He, however, hinted that the foreign workers policy will remain. "We can't take a break from the tightened foreign labour policies. We can't take a break from restructuring the economy because that's not a one or two year journey. That's going to take much of this decade," said Mr Tharman, who is also Finance Minister.

Many in the business community here have spelt out their wish list for the annual budget in recent weeks. The top items are: grants to ease soaring business costs, more support to reduce business rental costs and a refinement of foreign worker policies.

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