Entrepreneurship grants to be axed

By P PREM KUMAR / Pic By BERNAMA

The government is expected to reduce financial allocation and free grants that are awarded to local entrepreneurs in the upcoming Budget 2019, said Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof (picture).

He said while the slash in free grants will reduce the financial burden of the federal government, assistance to targeted eligible groups will still be continued.

“The Entrepreneur Development Ministry has proposed to reduce allocation and free grants which are offered to local entrepreneurs under the 2019 budget,” he said in a written parliamentary reply.

Budget 2019 is scheduled to be tabled by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on Nov 2 in the Dewan Rakyat.

Mohd Redzuan said the Pakatan Harapan government prefers to offer soft loans to the entrepreneurs instead.

“The proposal to slash allocation and free grants is being deliberated, and the ministry is reviewing all forms of assistance and grants provided (by the previous administration),” the minister said.

He was responding to Parit Sulong MP Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad who asked the government to state the relevance of the federal government’s move to reduce aid and free grants to local entrepreneurs.

“Assistance will be continued for eligible targeted groups with merits, as well as competitive enterprises which can withstand risk in expanding the business,” the minister said.

Mohd Redzuan said the current federal government prefers to provide soft loans to businesses, where entrepreneurs will have to repay based on specific obligations.

“The government is also committed to continue assisting entrepreneurs in capacity building through collaboration with training institutes to develop training programmes which are suitable for entrepreneurship.

“Besides that, among other efforts are to intensify entrepreneur incubator programmes currently available in higher education institutions, as well as coaching and mentoring programme to empower local entrepreneurs.”