Tuesday, May 24

Sarawak only state to subsidise financing facilities for SMEs

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Awang Tengah said the total budget for the interest subsidy for Special Relief Facility (SRF), Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility (TRRF), and Penjana Tourism Financing (PTF) is RM80.7 million and that the state government is providing the interest subsidies for 3 1/2 years. – File photo

KUCHING (Aug 13): Sarawak is the only state in the country that provides interest subsidy for the three financing facilities under Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to assist local small, medium enterprises (SMEs), said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

He said the total budget for the interest subsidy for Special Relief Facility (SRF), Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility (TRRF), and Penjana Tourism Financing (PTF) is RM80.7 million and that the state government is providing the interest subsidies for 3 1/2 years.

“SRF is to alleviate the short-term cash flow problems faced by SMEs in all economic sectors except the services sector, who are adversely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Under the interest subsidy scheme provided by the Sarawak government, a total of 1,918 Sarawakian SMEs have benefited from the scheme with a total loan facility of RM560.67 million and an estimated interest subsidy of RM47 million,” he said at the launch of the Chief Minister’s Industry Excellence Awards 2021 (CMIEA) held through Zoom yesterday morning.

He said TRRF provides relief and support recovery for SMEs in the services sector affected by reintroduction of containment measures, except tourism and tourism-related sub-sectors.

“Up to date, a total loan of RM229 million has been approved by the respective banks to 2,035 Sarawakian SMEs, with the estimated interest subsidy of RM22.14 million,” he said, adding that the state expects to receive more TRRF applications from the local SMES.

On PTF, he said a total loan of RM20.55 million has been approved by the respective banks to 815 Sarawakian SMEs, with the estimated interest subsidy of RM1.96 million to date.

“PTF is to support SMEs in the tourism sector by preserving their capacity and assisting them to undertake the necessary investments to adjust and remain viable post Covid-19,” he said.

Though application for SRF has closed since December 2020, the International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Minister said funds for TRRF and PTF are still available until December 31 this year or until the respective funds are exhausted.

“Hence, we would like to encourage all of our local SMEs in the services and tourism sectors to grab the opportunities while the schemes are still available,” he said.

Awang Tengah said the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many hardships to the people over the past two years including the business community.

“The government understands and empathises with the rakyat and business community.

“Both federal and state governments have come up with numerous initiatives and strategies to ensure the welfare of the rakyat and business community are taken care of, as well as to ensure the recovery of the economy,” he said.

He said in addition to federal financial packages worth RM284.5 billion under Prihatin, Prihatin Tambahan PKS, Penjana, Kita Prihatin, Permai, Pemerkasa, Pemerkasa Plus and Pemulih, the Sarawak government has also provided numerous assistances valued at RM5.3 billion under the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance 1.0 to 7.0 to further lessen the financial burdens of Sarawakians and to further assist Sarawak’s business communities.

He said one of the assistances is the Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme (SMCS) and Small and Medium Industries Local Scheme (SPIKS).

“The state government has provided RM100 million for the Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme to assist the B40s and micro and small businesses with maximum loan facility of RM50,000,” he said, adding that under BKSS, an interest subsidy for 3 1/2 years will be provided to the successful applicants.

He pointed out that to date, 1,879 applications have been received with a total loan facility of RM69.32 million.

“For SPIKS, a total of 188 Bumiputera SMEs have benefits through this scheme with a total approved loan of RM19.06 million.

“All the successful applicants will enjoy the moratorium and interest subsidy for 3 1/2 years under BKSS,” he added.