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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Construction players’ wishlist for Budget 2010

GEORGE TOWN: The property development and construction players want Budget 2010 to remove, or keep to the minimal, the levies and stamp duties on private projects and property transactions.

Penang Master Builders and Building Materials Dealers Association (PMBBMDA) president Finn Choong said levies for project contracts and foreign workers had raised construction costs, which had to be passed on to consumers.

“Presently these levies are high in comparison with those of developed countries and have eroded the competitive edge of the local construction industry,” he told StarBiz. PMBBMDA also urged the Government to remove approved permits for new construction machineries.

“This will spur the adoption of new and green construction technology by local construction companies,” Choong added.

The Government should also treat construction companies as venture capital businesses that were eligible for tax holidays because construction firms “also undertake high risks,” he said.

Meanwhile, Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda, Penang Chapter) chairman Datuk Jerry Chan said the budget should give grants to first-time house buyers for properties of a certain price range.

“We would also like to see stamp duty waiver for transfer of properties and housing loans,” he said.

The stamp duty ranged from 1% to 3% depending on the value of the properties transferred, while the stamp duty for housing is 0.5% of a total loan amount.

By The Star (by David Tan)

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