#Budget 2010:* Government to encourage the adoption of green technology

KUALA  LUMPUR: In a move to encourage the adoption of the Green Building Index (GBI), a green rating index launched on May 21, 2009, the government will give income tax exemption to building owners obtaining GBI certificates from Oct 24, 2009 until Dec 31, 2014, announced Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in presenting the 2010 budget on Oct 23.

Stamp duty exemptions will be given to buyers purchasing buildings with GBI certificates from developers for sales and purchase agreements executed from Oct 24, 2009 to Dec 31, 2014.

“This is a good start and shows that the government is supportive of the GBI. It will go a long way to encourage more companies and consumers to invest in green technology. We also believe that the recognition given to the GBI will spur foreign investment in our property market,” said Boon Che Wee, president of Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) and director of Greenbuildingindex Sdn Bhd.

Going forward, PAM will focus on two new green rating tools; one for existing building GBI certification and another for townships. “It is even more important for us now to develop the other two tools especially the existing building GBI certification, as it can be a key economic driver for urban renewal and regeneration,” said Boon.

Credit must be given to the volunteers of PAM and Association Of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM) for their tireless work in developing and promoting the GBI, added Boon.

In addition, the government will also establish a fund amounting to RM1.5 billion to promote green technology, providing soft loans to companies that utilise and supply green technology. Suppliers will be able to obtain loans of up to RM50 million and consumer companies, RM10 million, and 2% of the total interest rate will be borne by the government. The scheme will commence on Jan 1, 2010.

Other green measures include developing Putrajaya and  Cyberjaya as pioneer townships in green technology, organising an international green technology exhibition in April 2010 and restructuring the Malaysia Energy Centre as the National Green Technology Centre, which has been tasked with the formulation of  a green technology development action plan.

“The support we have received from the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water and the Ministry of Works have been invaluable as well as the now aptly renamed, National Green Technology Centre. We applaud the government for recognising the importance and economic value of green technology. With this national recognition, we can confidently take GBI to the world stage, at the World Green Building Council Congress in the US next month,” said Boon.

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