SINGAPORE: More companies took advantage of the government's Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) to deal with manpower shortages over two years, ending November 2013.
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) said some 63,000 claims by 45,500 companies were made from January 2012 to November 2013.
That is 30 per cent more than those that did in the previous period of assessment.
IRAS said the firms invested mainly in automation and additional staff training.
The PIC scheme gives companies enhanced tax deductions or cash payouts when they invest in innovation and productivity improvements.
Among those who tapped on the PIC is cinema operator Golden Village.
It recently introduced a self-booking ticketing system.
Movie patrons book their tickets online, and upon reaching the cinema, scan the QR code and go straight in to watch the movie.
At the Golden Village City Square cineplex, half of its staff are part-timers, and on weekends or school holidays, it relies on about just 30 staff to run the show.
The cinema said the system's introduction means it needs 10 less staff to work during busy periods.
Chia Chong Hai, chief information officer at Golden Village Multiplex, said: "Because we have lessened the load in having to serve the patrons coming from online booking to collect the tickets, we are better able to serve our customers who come on site to buy the tickets at the box office counter. And we will be able to deploy more staff to serve at the candy bar." - CNA/gn
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