Saturday, September 26

Four measures to help SMEs under Sarawakku Sayang Assistance Package 2.0

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File photo for illustration purposes

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today announced the state government’s a second financial aid package, the Sarawakku Sayang Assistance Package 2.0, with focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) including, hawkers and petty trraders.

Valued at RM1.1 billion, the measures under the package are as follows:

MEASURE 1: INTEREST FREE SOFT LOAN FOR SMES
In collaboration with Maybank Bank, Hong Leong Bank and RHB Bank, under the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Special Relief Fund (SRF), Sarawak Government to absorb the interest costs due to be released to over 40,000 SMEs. The interest free loans of RM1.0
billion will be made available for SMEs.

The financial implication for the interest rates subsidy over the three and a half years is RM80.7 million. SMEs need to apply for the loans directly from any branches of the three banks. All SMEs have an option to apply for either Islamic or conventional loans for the scheme.

Under this measure, all Sarawak registered SMEs must first comply with National SME Development Council (NSDC) SME definition and the following easy financing conditions:
(a) Working capital in respect to salary payment;
(b) Interest free loan amount from RM20,000 to RM500,000;
(c) No collateral required;
(d) Sole proprietorship, partnership and Sdn Bhd; and
(e) Business in operations three years and more.

For SMEs who operate less than 3-years, they can still opt to apply for the RM50 million Micro Credit Scheme through Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal
and Entrepreneur Development Sarawak (MINTRED).

The loan amount is to be based on total staff salary for 6 months.

MEASURE 2: SPECIAL GRANT OF RM1,500 TO HAWKERS AND PETTY TRADERS THROUGH SARAWAK PAY
This will benefit more than 65,000 petty traders and hawkers throughout Sarawak. The grant will be paid out to the respective qualified entrepreneurs’ through Sarawak Pay account in two tranches. The overall cost of the Grants to be borne by Sarawak Government is RM98.4 million.

For those hawkers and petty traders who are eligible to receive assistance but have no Sarawak Pay account, can download the app from Apple Store or Google Play Store and
apply online.

Those who are outside internet coverage and may not have easy access to Sarawak Pay, especially those registered petty traders with FAMA and Department of Agriculture (DOA) in the rural areas, will be given cash vouchers.

MEASURE 3: ABOLISHMENT OF 2% INTEREST RATES TO 0% FOR THREE AND A HALF YEARS UNDER MICRO CREDIT SCHEME
Abolishing the 2 per cent interest rate for three and a half years under existing MINTRED. The Micro Credit Scheme is operated by Agro Bank Berhad and Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) with a maximum loan size of RM50,000 at 0% interest rate for each enterprise.

MEASURE 4: WAIVER FOR RENTALS TO SMES IN RETAIL SECTOR OPERATING ON PREMISES OWNED BY STATE GLCs
The State Government will waive rentals to SMEs in the retail sectors which are operating on premises owned by Government-Linked Companies (GLCs).

Abang Johari urges owners of private premises throughout Sarawak, for example; the Spring, Vivacity, Merdeka Plaza, Aeon mall, Star Megamall, Delta Mall, Boulevard, Imperial, Majma Mall, Bintang Plaza and others to provide similar assistance to their tenants by reducing their rental rates considering that the government has given them 25% discounts on their assessments rates as well as 15% utility bills discounts on these commercial premises.