KUALA LUMPUR: The government has announced an allocation of RM15 million to develop esports industry in the country in 2021.
This is the third consecutive year that esports development has been given special attention in the national Budget, with RM10 and RM20 million allocated for 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Meanwhile, the government allocated RM103 million to build, upgrade and maintain all sports facilities nationwide, and RM55 million for the development of hockey, rugby, badminton and cycling as well as the development of women athletes.
“To assist sports industry operators, RM20 million will be provided as a soft loan under the Tekun sports scheme to ensure the continuity of sports facility operators,” Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said during the tabling of Budget 2021 at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
In addition, he said, the tax relief limit for lifestyle would be increased from RM2,500 to RM3,000, whereby the additional RM500 is specifically provided for expenditure related to sports, including participating fee for sports competitions.
The scope of relief is also expanded to include subscription of electronic newspapers, he said.
Tengku Zafrul also announced that RM28 million would be allocated for the implementation of the MyFit programme, National Sports Day and Inspire Programme for the disabled (OKU) community.
He said the government would also set aside RM19 million to implement the Malaysia National Healthy Agenda, which is aimed at enhancing the practice of healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
He also explained that the government would, through the e-Youth Programme, credit a one-off RM50 into the e-wallet accounts of those aged between 18-20. With an allocation of RM75 million, this initiative is expected to benefit 1.5 million youths.
He said the government would also provide an incentive of RM1,000 per month for up to three months to private employers for each new graduate who participates in the apprenticeship programme.
In addition, employers can also claim a grant of up to RM4,000 for training programmes for the apprentices. — Bernama