KUCHING (Oct 14): The Sarawak government has announced Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 7.0 Plus worth RM78.5 million for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro enterprises in Sarawak amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the special one-off financial assistance of RM10,000 for active SMEs in Sarawak registered with Social Security Organisation (Socso) is extended from Dec 31, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
“This financial assistance is expected to benefit 470 active business entities, which will cost Sarawak government direct expenditure amounting to RM4.7 million.
“Sarawak government will also provide a special one-off financial assistance of RM3,000 for micro enterprises in Sarawak registered with Socso as at March 31, 2021.
“This financial assistance will be paid in December 2021 and is expected to benefit approximately 24,600 micro enterprises that will cost the government direct expenditure of RM73.8 million,” he said before handing out the BKSS 7.0 special one-off financial assistance of RM10,000 for active SMEs in Sarawak today.
“These measures are expected to cost Sarawak government direct expenditure amounting to RM78.5 million. I hope these measures will ease the financial burden to our business community and enable them to move forward in the recovery phase of Covid-19 pandemic.”
On Aug 4, he announced the special one-off financial assistance of RM10,000 for active SMEs in Sarawak registered with Socso as at Dec 31, 2020.
He said the government acknowledged that although the companies are not required to apply, for the sake of good governance and integrity, several information need to be confirmed by the companies before the payment can be disbursed.
“For example, to prove that the businesses are Sarawakian-owned companies, they are required to provide relevant supporting documents as evidence.
“In addition, bank details are required to ensure that the assistance could be disbursed to the designated company’s bank account,” he said.
Despite so, Abang Johari said nearly 30 per cent of the eligible SMEs were without bank details and some recipients had informed that they do not wish to deposit this financial assistance to their registered bank account with Socso.
He said this process requires time and therefore there is delay in the disbursement of the first tranche of the payment which was scheduled in September this year.
“The confirmation process is now progressing well and all the payment to the eligible SMEs will be completed by December 2021,” he added.
To date, Abang Johari said only 25 per cent of the eligible SMEs had submitted their documents through Sarawak Online Portal.
Out of the 25 per cent, he said 16 per cent of the SMEs had fully complied with the documentation.
Given this, he urged the companies to provide the required documents to facilitate the payment without further delay.