by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
BANK Islam Malaysia Bhd has launched a new RM2 million BangKIT Microfinance facility, which is expected to benefit more than 200 microentrepreneurs.
Bank Islam chairman Tan Sri Dr Ismail Bakar said the latest facility is a part of the bank’s dedication to providing long-term socio-economic solutions.
“The BangKIT Microfinance facility utilises Sadaqa House funds received from the general public or organisation to assist eligible recipients. It is the first of its kind programme by an Islamic financial institution in Malaysia,” he said at the launch yesterday.
The microfinancing facility aims to assist selected unbanked and underbanked microentrepreneurs to obtain capital for their start-up business or business expansion, and subsequently build a credit record to qualify them for other financings in the future.
Offered under its interest-free Al-Qard contract, BangKIT Microfinance facility provides financing as low as RM500 to RM3,000 for start-up businesses and RM3,000 up to RM20,000 for business expansion with a repayment period of six months to three years.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Islamic social financing is relevant in tackling the current challenges and recovering the economy which has been heavily affected by the pandemic.
“Islamic banking holds great potential in utilising the social financial instruments such as zakat, waqf and alms.
“These instruments should not be limited to the providence of essential needs and livelihood of those who need them or religious necessities such as the building of masjid and madrasah only,” he said.
Mustapa added that the use of Islamic social financial instruments could also be used to nurture asnaf groups who are especially affected by the volatile economy in order to enable their independence in the long run.
“This effort to rebuild the country isn’t just on the government, but also banking and financial institutions should play their roles in realising the goals,” he said.