Sunday, September 20

S’wak govt approves RM30 million for Micro Credit Scheme set for SMEs

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THE Sarawak government has approved an allocation of RM30 million for the Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme.

According to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, the scheme would help local entrepreneurs, specifically those under the small-medium enterprise (SME) category, to gain access to financing.

He says the scheme would be open to applicants of all races, aged between 18 and 65.

“We have suggested for the following fees through this scheme. For loans of RM1,000 to RM10,000, it is at zero-interest rate but there would be a management cost of two per cent, which would be a one-off payment for the borrowers.

“For loans of RM5,000 to RM50,000, there is no management cost but the borrowers would be charged with a declining interest of four per cent,” said Awang Tengah, who is also the Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development, in a press conference held after his ministerial winding-up speech in DUN yesterday.

He added that the scheme was aimed at those from the B40 (low-income) group and also the SMEs, as means to provide them the capital or funds to purchase machinery and tools.

“For the RM1,000-RM10,000 loan, no guarantor is needed whereas for the RM5,000-RM50,000 loan, a person for reference is required. The loan period is one to three years for the RM1,000-RM10,000 loan, and one to five years for RM5,000-RM50,000 loan.

“Licences required are permits from local authorities or department (or) agencies, business registrations from the Inland Revenue Board, Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) or other relevant licences,” said Awang Tengah, adding that the processing period for the scheme, whether a loan application would be approved or declined, would be no more than four working days.

He said the ministry would strive to work together with banks and other financial institutions regarding this scheme.

“We have talked with Agrobank and we are in the process of talking to other banks and financial institutions,” said the Deputy Chief Minister.