Saturday, May 8

CM: Study on method of financial assistance for SMEs to be conducted


File photo for illustration purposes

KUCHING (Jan 21): The Sarawak government will conduct a study to determine the method of financial assistance and loans to be given to small-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the state, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the details of the study would be announced by Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan “soon”.

He revealed this during the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 5.0 announcement this afternoon following the announcing the extension of moratorium for SME Loan Scheme (SPIKS) loan repayment for six months from January to June 2021.

“As a measure to aid the cash flow and reduce the financial burden of SMEs in the state, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government will defer the loan repayment for SPIKS for six months from January to June 2021. This measure will benefit 174 borrowers with loans amounting to RM900,000.

“Due to the uncertainty faced by the small and medium industries, the state government has decided to assist them in terms of financial assistance and loans which we hope to be able to help them sustain their businesses,” he said when announcing the RM405 million BKSS 5.0.

The SPIKS loan repayment has been deferred since the first BKSS was announced on March 23, 2020.

Announced in early 2020, SPIKS is a soft loan scheme aimed to provide financing for valid bumiputera Sarawakian SMEs in manufacturing, services and ICT sector for the purpose of working capital, renovation of business premise and purchase of machinery and equipment.

It offers financing size of between RM6,000 and RM250,000 with a service charge of 4 per cent per annum and tenure of up to seven years.

“During this challenging time, the Sarawak government is always thinking of and implementing the best measures to help the people.

“The state government hopes that the BKSS 5.0 special assistance package amounting to RM405 million will help ease the burden of all Sarawakians until June, and we also hope and pray that with the availability of vaccines, the spread of Covid-19 can be overcome after June 2021,” said Abang Johari.