Friday, November 22

‘Specify provisions for S’wak Bumiputera SMEs’

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Datu Abang Helmi Tan Sri Ikhwan

KUCHING: Chamber of Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs (DUBS) wants the federal government to specify how much of the allocations under Budget 2020 would go to Sarawak Bumiputera businesses.

DUBS president Datu Abang Helmi Tan Sri Ikhwan said the budget allocations for Bumiputera businesses seems ‘rather small and insufficient’ when compared to the amount allocated by the previous federal government.

“Moreover, the figures given are for the whole country, so it is difficult to know the actual allocations for Sarawak Bumiputera SMEs (small and medium enterprises),” he said in a statement commenting on Budget 2020, which was tabled in Parliament on Friday.

Abang Helmi also called upon DUBS members as well as the rest of the Bumiputera business community to be aware of what would be available for them under Budget 2020.

He acknowledged a sum of RM445 million allocated for the Bumiputera SMEs, apparently to be disbursed via Permodalan Usahawan National Bhd (PUNB), SME Corp, National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional), SME Bank, and also a small amount under Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju).

“We are yet to find out how much of the RM445 million would be allocated for Sarawak SMEs,” he said.

Abang Helmi also pointed the RM 300 million slated for supporting Bumiputera SMEs in the country that had potential to become regional players.

“A worthy provision to note is a ceiling increase from RM200,000 to RM300,000 per company for market development expenses.

“There is also a ceiling increase from RM15,000 to RM25,000 per participant in export promotion programmes.

“We welcome that SMEs are granted concessionary tax rate of 17 per cent for chargeable income of up to RM600,000.”

On a separate matter, Abang Helmi noted the RM4.47 billion allocation for development expenditure in Sarawak – the second highest in the country, after Sabah.

However, he believed in the likelihood that the amount would include the development cost for the Pan Borneo Highway mega project.

“When considering the need for Sarawak to catch up with development in the peninsula, and looking at the huge amount that Sarawak contributes in petroleum revenue, the development allocation for Sarawak is not adequate,” he observed.