KUCHING (Aug 5): Sarawak Timber Association (STA) through Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) has submitted an appeal to the federal government regarding the industry’s discontentment over the former’s decision to only allow accumulated business losses to be used as an element of corporate income tax reduction for a maximum period of 10 years.
Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Willie Mongin held an engagement session with the Sarawak Timber Association (STA) at his office in Kuala Lumpur yesterday to discuss related issues and to obtain feedback from Sarawak’s timber industry.
STA Forest Plantation Committee chairman Peter Ling, chief executive officer Annie Ting, STIDC general manager Datu Hashim Bojet and deputy general manager Haluyah Awi were present at the session, along with representatives from the Ministry of Finance (MoF), National Timber Industry Board (MTIB) and the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC).
The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities during the engagement session noted that MoF has re-examined the policy and extended the restriction period from seven to 10 years during the announcement of the Budget 2022 for all industries.
“At the same time, MoF has also announced that a detailed study will be conducted for sectors or industries that are waiting for long-term results (long gestation period) such as forest plantations, logging, agriculture, commodities as well as large-scale infrastructure projects such as power stations and highways,” it said.
It said under the National Agricommodity Policy 2021-2030 (DAKN 2030), the aspiration was to modernise and increase resilience of the country’s timber industry.
“The target export market value for wood and wood products in 2030 is as much as RM32.8 billion, which means 70 per cent of exports is made up of downstream products.
“In 2021, the timber industry is the third highest contributor to the country’s agricommodity sector with an export value of timber and timber products of RM22.74 billion.
“Sarawak has contributed as much as 15 per cent or RM3.53 billion, with plywood, logs and fiberboard as their main exports,” it said.
It said the ministry through MTIB, MTC and the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) is always committed to providing advisory services in the country’s timber industry.
“In this regard, the Sarawak government has collaborated with MTCC to promote and strengthen the implementation of timber and timber product certification to increase access to international markets through the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) which is recognised by the Programme for the Verification of Forest Certification (PEFC),” it said.
The ministry is optimistic that continuous cooperation with stakeholders in Sarawak can further increase the competitiveness of the country’s timber industry in meeting the needs and demands of the international market.
“This collaboration will contribute to the sustainability of the country’s timber industry as well as mutual prosperity,” it added.