Govt disburses RM1.2b in aid to SMEs via Penjana

Some 5,976 applications have been approved as of Jan 1, compared to 5,764 applications the previous week


THE government disbursed close to a total of RM1.15 billion in financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as of Jan 1, 2021, under the short-term National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (picture) said a total of 5,976 applications had been approved with a total financing value of RM1.15 billion under the Penjana SME Financing scheme, compared to 5,764 applications with a total financing value of RM1.12 billion as of the previous week.

On Penjana Tourism Financing, he said there were 566 applications, of which 272 applications had been approved with a total financing of RM54.8 million as of Jan 1.

Besides that, the minister said a total of RM99.9 million had been channelled via Tekun Business Recovery Scheme as of the same period, benefitting 14,946 micro SMEs.

These are among the initiatives introduced under the second objective of Penjana to propel businesses.

On its first objective which is empowering the people, Tengku Zafrul said the hiring incentive and training assistance programmes helped 128,779 employees secure jobs as of Jan 1.

These include 102,657 people under the age of 40; 17,395 people for the age group of 40 and 60; and 7,382 apprentices and 1,344 people with disabilities.

Tengku Zafrul said manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade are among the key industries actively hiring.

On the reskilling and upskilling programme, the minister said 133,936 individuals had been approved to participate in the programmes, and among the courses that have received good responses include entrepreneurship and digitalisation.

He further said a total of RM127.74 million had been channelled for the subscription of 751,414 unlimited monthly public transport MY30 passes, which is worth RM30.

This initiative is extended into 2021 under Budget 2021 to further promote mobility and reduce the burden of public transport costs for the people.

Tengku Zafrul said the Finance Ministry (MoF) is looking at measures to improve Budget 2021, following the implementation of various forms of Movement Control Order (MCO) in the country.

“The MoF always listens and is ready to improve the initiatives when required. As such, with the implementation of various MCOs, the MoF is studying and discussing appropriate improvement on Budget 2021 measures to ensure the welfare of the people and business continuity,” he said yesterday after giving the latest report on Laksana, or Unit Pelaksanaan dan Koordinasi Stimulus Ekonomi Antara Agensi Nasional.

He also reminded the people to always be careful with individuals and syndicates which have become more daring in scamming the public who are eligible for government assistance such as Bantuan Prihatin Nasional, Prihatin Special Grant, i-Lestari and i-Sinar.

He said applicants and recipients are advised to refer to official sources, and to not provide personal information to unknown parties.

Read our earlier report

MoF looks to enhance Budget 2021 due to MCO 2.0