by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
ABOUT RM12.06 billion of soft loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been approved by local lenders, facilitated by the central bank.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said these will benefit 25,605 SMEs through funds including Special Relief Facility (SRF), SME Automation and Digitalisation Facility (ADF), All Economic Sectors (AES) Facility and Agrofood Facility (AF).
“As of May 28, 2021, RM12.06 billion of soft loan funds operated by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) for SMEs have been approved by the local banks and agreed to be accepted by the businesses.
“Even though the SRF funds have been completely utilised, SMEs can still apply other types of schemes under BNM funds such as ADF, AES and AF.
“They could also seek financial assistance at other platforms such as imSME,” he said while presenting the 55th Implementation and Coordination Unit Between National Agencies report on Facebook yesterday.
Meanwhile, he said a total of RM5.08 billion has been allocated for almost one million micro-SMEs through the Geran Khas Prihatin (GKP), which includes all three stages of GKP disbursement since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
“The allocation was announced through the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy (Pemerkasa) initiative on March 17, where RM1,000 will be given once-off to 1 million micro-SMEs, and an additional RM500 is allocated and was announced during Pemerkasa+ on May 31,” he said.
Tengku Zafrul added that the payment will be credited directly to recipients’ bank accounts registered with the GKP system and the applicants could begin checking their application statuses from June 8, 2021.
Updating on the Dana Penjana Nasional (DPN), Tengku Zafrul said Penjana Kapital Sdn Bhd, the company established to manage the fund, has raised RM850 million as of May.
“The collection has exceeded the initial target by RM622 million, or 3.7 times of the RM228 million target. Of the total fund, RM433 million, or more than 55%, is derived from foreign investors, including investments from Hong Kong and South Korea.
“Out of the eight approved foreign venture capital (VC) fund managers and their local partners selected for the DPN programme, three have succeeded in reaching their final target ahead of the deadline.
“The DPN’s objective is to bridge the funding gap by providing incentives to private investors to facilitate start-up companies and create an ecosystem that encourages local start-ups to grow internationally,” he said.
He added that out of the RM850 million raised, RM118 million have been approved for nine start-ups.
Commenting on Malaysia’s economic recovery, Tengku Zafrul said the government will put all efforts into guiding the country towards recovery and growth beginning the second half of the year (2H21).
“The government will not stop in supporting the public healthcare capacity and ensuring people’s income through continuous financial assistance.
“It is important to ensure that our economy is able to recover and grow again in the 2H21,” he said.