THE government will extend the Automation Support Package (ASP) by two years, said Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat on Monday. The ASP was launched in Budget 2016, and is meant to help firms deploy large-scale automation, such as robotics and the Internet of Things.
ASP comprises grant, tax and loan components.
To defray automation costs, funding support of up to 50 per cent of qualifying costs for the roll-out or scaling up of automation projects is provided under the ASP. This funding is capped at S$1 million.
Secondly, a 100 per cent investment tax allowance is provided on the amount of approved capital expenditure, net of grants. The approved capital expenditure is capped at S$10 million per project.
Finally, companies that require equipment financing can be referred to participating financial institutions, through the enhanced local enterprise finance scheme. Under this programme, Enterprise Singapore bears loan-default risk at up to 70 per cent for SMEs, with the remainder of the risk held by these financial institutions. It also bears loan-default risk at 50 per cent for non-SMEs under this programme.
Since its launch, the ASP has helped more than 300 companies to automate their operations and raise productivity.
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