Govt Preparing Tax Incentives for Green Property Developer
In a bid to promote the usage of green building materials in the country, the government is in the midst of dishing out goodies - tax incentives - to developers of green building, according to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. Although the goodies may not be announced in the upcoming 2020 Budget, it nevertheless, would be implemented as soon as possible, said its Deputy Minister Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Ibni Raja Ahmad Baharuddin Shah.
“We have been talking about this for the past few years, but no follow up have been done (under the previous government).. there must be tax incentives given to the developers so that they will be attracted to develop more green projects."
“Surprisingly our percentage of green building in the country only stood at one per cent compared with our neighbour, Singapore which is 40%. We are only across the bridge (causeway), but why such a big difference,?” he told Bernama at the sidelines of Green Build Conference (GBC) 2019.
The island republic reportedly aimed to have 80% of its buildings to be equipped with energy-saving features by 2030.
Besides the proposed goodies, the government according to Kamarul Bahrin is also drafting an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (EECA) which regulate requirements for comprehensive building energy codes, building energy labelling and electrical appliance energy performance standards.
The regulatory requirements he said, will come into force in 2019/2020 period with the proposed Act outlining comprehensive measures to promote sustainable consumption of energy including target setting, communication and education.
“We are targeting between 550-1750 buildings to be green certified via green building rating tool by 2020 and 2030 respectively and by 2040 aims to achieve a near-zero energy building."
“I do acknowledge the fear among property buyers who believe property prices will go up with the using of green building materials. However, that is not necessarily true. If we do it systematically, green building materials can be economical in some ways,” he explained.
Meanwhile, GreenRE member and REHDA Institute Board of Trustee, Datuk Ng Seing Liong said although there will be a slight increase in the property prices, in the long term it will save cost.
“For example, if you instal a solar panel to the house, the property price might be slightly higher but you don’t have to pay extra electricity for your hot shower,” he said.
He said, to get the green agenda in this country going, it needs some sort of pushing from the top.
On that note, he seconded the government for providing facilities and incentives to spur green development in the country.
“Make it convenient for developers to get loans from financial institutions to embrace green building development. The tax exemption schemes under the Investment Tax Allowance Scheme has been slow to take off as only commercial building owners are eligible."
“With the homeownership campaign underway to increase home ownership among Malaysians and to address the property overhang, a similar system could be put in place to provide stamp duty exemption for house buyers who purchase green-certified properties”.