The following question stood in the name of Mr Leon Perera –
13 To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) what are the indicators used by the Government to measure the impact of grants such as the Productivity Solutions Grant on the firm-level productivity of SMEs and micro-SMEs that have taken up such grants; and (b) whether the Ministry can publish all grant KPIs and outcomes in yearly reports in aggregate terms.
Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim (Sengkang): Question No 13.
The Minister of State for Trade and Industry (Ms Low Yen Ling) (for the Minister for Trade and Industry): Mr Deputy Speaker, Enterprise Singapore publishes indicators such as committed value-add and projected skilled jobs creation in its annual Year-in-Review that measure the economic impact of grant projects undertaken by enterprises.
In addition, the Government also conducts regular studies on the impact of its grant schemes. For example, an impact analysis for the Market Readiness Assistance grant was published in the Economic Survey of Singapore Third Quarter 2021. In another study in 2020, Enterprise Singapore sampled 129 companies on the impact of the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) and found that more than 80% of these projects had achieved various forms of productivity gains in terms of cost savings, time savings and revenue gains.
Mr Deputy Speaker: Assoc Prof Jamus Lim.
Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim: Just a quick follow-up to the reply by the Minister of State. Is it possible that the studies that she cited be provided on a more disaggregated basis? As she mentioned that is published in Economic Survey of Singapore and I am just wondering whether the underlying background papers could be made available? I ask this in part because it is interesting to understand to the extent to which these grants could causally be attributed to improving the productivity of these firms.
Ms Low Yen Ling: I want to thank the Member Assoc Prof Jamus Lim for his supplementary questions. Allow me to recap for the other Members as well. Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) was introduced in 2018 to support our enterprises in their transformation journey and they are aligned to the Industry Transformation Map (ITMs) to support our enterprises to adopt IT solutions, equipment or consultancy services that are pre-scoped by the industry’s leading agency. It could be BCA for construction, NEA and so on.
So, let me elaborate on the reach and also the uptake of the scheme for PSG. Between FY2019 and FY2021, over the three years, more than 116,100 applications were received. Nearly 95% of the complete submissions were approved. When I cited the impact study earlier, we are looking at the data and certainly, in due course, we will share more details. Suffice to say, the top three sectors are retail, food and beverage, and construction. We are heartened that the companies in these three sectors are really taking up PSG to raise the productivity gains. I want to assure him that we will certainly share more details from the impact studies.
Ministry of Trade and Industry
5 October 2022