Tekun Nasional approves 38 TBRS applications within days

by DASHVEENJIT KAUR/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

THE National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional) has approved 38 applications under the Tekun Business Recovery Scheme (TBRS) worth RM302,000 just within four days of its launch.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (picture) said since Monday, Tekun Nasional has received 894 micro-small and medium enterprises (SMEs) applications amounting to RM8.7 million for TBRS.

The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac) through Tekun Nasional has allocated RM100 million for its latest scheme, under the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).

TBRS has been opened to applicants since July 13, 2020, providing micro financing of up to RM10,000 with an interest rate of 3.5% per annum (compared to the conventional rate which is usually between 4% and 10%).

“Apart from financial assistance at low rates, these entrepreneurs will be given guidance, advice, and encouragement to succeed.

“This in turn will ensure a good repayment of the loan so that the funds can be channelled back to other entrepreneurs,” Tengku Zafrul told reporters after visiting Tekun Nasional’s office in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

As for Tekun Nasional’s Covid-19 Business Recovery Financing Scheme (CBRM) that was launched in April, the minister said it has achieved 97% of implementation rate where 25,587 applications worth RM195.3 million were approved.

“The three main recipients of assistance are from the services industry (52%), retail (28%) and manufacturing (9%) that are mainly from Selangor (16%), Johor (14%) and Kelantan (12%).

“Overall, the government has allocated RM300 million through the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package and Penjana to Tekun Nasional to strengthen and stimulate the economy,” he added.

Out of the 907,000 SMEs nationwide, over 693,000 or 76.5% are micro businesses.

Meanwhile, Medac Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the financing of RM200 million for CBRM under the Prihatin stimulus package and RM100 million for TBRS both under Penjana, is intended to help micro entrepreneurs recover their business and each financing is given a moratorium period of six months.

“Medac estimates that 10,000 micro-entrepreneurs will benefit from this scheme,” he told reporters yesterday.

Apart from assistance through Tekun Nasional, the government also provided assistance to micro businesses through programmes such as BSN Microcredit programme (RM500 million under Prihatin and RM200 million under Penjana) — this includes RM50 million for women entrepreneurs; and the special grant (GKP) which until July 13, over RM1.64 billion has been given to more than 545,000 micro SMEs.

In total, the government has allocated almost RM3.2 billion for micro SMEs (GKP RM2.1 billion, BSN/Tekun RM700 million under Prihatin, and RM400 million under Penjana).

Looking ahead, Tengku Zafrul said the government may need to review the policy for microfinance for SMEs which includes aspects such as training, support to advance globally and the application of good business management practices.