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SCAL makes recommendations for Budget 2017

MEASURES to help reduce business costs, introduce separate provisions for workplace safety and health in government contracts, and prepare the industry for Singapore's future economy were among the recommendations made by the Singapore Contractors Association (SCAL) for Budget 2017.

In a media statement released on Tuesday, SCAL said: "Construction firms are bracing themselves for headwinds in 2017 caused by tightening manpower, rising costs, stiffer regulatory controls and lower margins amidst stiffer competition."

SCAL had in December submitted a full list of recommendations to the Ministry of Finance. A summary of the recommendations are as follows:

1. The government to extend the PIC scheme to further boost adoption of technology and innovation to raise productivity.

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2. The government to help mitigate further increases in business costs through a deferment on the increase in foreign levy in 2017.

3. The government to allocate a parcel of vacant land and charge affordable rates for construction firms to park their idle heavy machineries and equipment.

4. The government to bring forward some public sector projects to tie over fall in demand in private sector projects.

5. The government to introduce separate budget provisions on workplace safety and health in government procurement and tendering for all government construction projects.

6. The government to provide incentives such as grants, tax rebates or concessionary tax rates to large companies that forge collaborations with local small and medium-sized enterprises.