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Stricter checks to reduce fraudulent claims for ICV scheme

Minister of State Teo Ser Luck announces more stringent checks in the application process for the the Innovation and Capability Voucher scheme.

SINGAPORE: Steps are being taken to prevent fraudulent activity in the Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV) scheme. Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck says, more stringent checks would be conducted in the ICV application process.

Under the ICV scheme, SMEs can apply up to eight vouchers, worth S$5,000 each, to implement productivity and innovation solutions. There have been cases of fraud related to the Productivity and Innovation Credits (PIC) scheme for SMEs and the government is seeking to avoid a similar situation with the ICV scheme. 

"We have tightened our controls and once we found out that during our tightening of controls and we find out that some applications are abusing the system, we actually will tighten it further," said Mr Teo. "I think it necessary to be fair to all the applications and in order to be fair to all the applications, you also want to make sure that our due diligence system is also tight and foolproof." 

Mr Teo was speaking to reporters at the sidelines of an industry event - the Heartlands SMEs Showcase jointly organised by Ang Mo Kio Merchants' Associations and SME Centre @ Ang Mo Kio.

Addressing the issue of rising business costs, Mr Teo said the Government is looking to assist SMEs in all areas, not just in manpower. "The cost of doing business - one part we have to look at is commercial rental and that has been brought up quite a few times. What is the impact of an increase in rental by a landlord to a tenant in a certain cluster of locations? How does it impact the rest?"

And working on feedback from the SME Workgroup, Mr Teo says the Government plans to be transparent with rental information and introduce a best-practices framework for landlords and tenants.

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