: The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) hopes to get more land for plantation purposes and special tax incentives in the upcoming 2017 Budget.
Chief Executive Datuk Redza Rafiq Abdul Razak said it needed more aid from the government to further enhance the wellbeing of the people in the northern region, particularly the bottom 40 per cent household income group.
"Our focus is to intensify education and human capital initiatives among our youth in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), and this calls for more tax incentives to further encourage companies to participate in the said initiatives," he told Bernama here recently.
At the same time, Redza Rafiq said NCIA also needed more land for paddy planting to contribute to the country's paddy production.
"Malaysia has about 679,000 hectares of paddy and is at 70 per cent self-sufficiency level. If the yield is increased by one tonne per hectare to 5.5 tonne per hectare per season, Malaysia can achieve 100 per cent self-sufficiency," he said.
Redza Rafiq also noted the need for more equipment and machinery among paddy planters to help them increase their production.
For NCIA's four growth nodes -- the Greater Kamunting Conurbation, Chuping Valley Development Area, Kedah Science & Technology Park and Rubber City -- he hoped the government would consider providing special incentives to ensure comprehensive and sustainable growth in these areas.
"Maybe the government can offer fiscal and non-fiscal incentives such as facilitation funds or tax exemption packages for the companies operating in these areas," said Redza Rafiq.
NCIA also hoped the government would introduce a soft landing programme for the small and medium enterprises in the region to help them face the current economic challenges.
"We hope our wishes would be given due consideration as the NCIA is now overseeing economic development in an even larger area following the inclusion of South Perak in the NCER," he added. - BERNAMA