More than 1m micro MSMEs benefit from GKP assistance

pic by BERNAMA

MORE than one million micro-entrepreneurs have benefitted from the four Prihatin Special Grant (GKP) payments which totalled to RM6.08 billion provided by the government since Covid-19 hit the country last year.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (picture) said for GKP 4.0, over one million micro-entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have received the first batch of payment worth RM500 on Sept 21, while the second batch of payment will be made in November.

Of the total, he said 196,000 micro-entrepreneurs in Selangor have received assistance amounting to RM1.2 billion.

“The total amount for GKP 4.0 is RM1 billion where the funds are credited to the bank accounts of recipients who have registered under the GKP system,” he said at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday in response to a question from Sabak Bernam MP Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh.

He said Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) have also implemented various funding schemes for SMEs in support of the government’s initiatives via Bank Negara Malaysia’s fund which totalled to RM8.1 billion.

DFIs’ main role is to support the survival of micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs by facilitating fundings through various loan packages.

“The Finance Ministry had urged DFIs to provide a framework for better solutions such as less onerous funding criteria so that businesses can recover and operate as soon as possible following the opening of more social and economic sectors,” said the minister.

Meanwhile, Deputy Finance Minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah said the government has spent RM164.2 billion in the first half of 2021 (1H21), up by 5.7% compared to the same period last year.

Of the total, RM117.4 billion or 71.5% was used for management expenditure, RM28.4 billion (17.3%) was for development expenditure while the remaining RM18.4 billion (11.2%) was expenditure related to Covid-19.

“A large portion of the management expenditure was used for emoluments which totalled to RM43.2 billion, debt service charges worth RM18.4 billion and retirement payments of RM15.3 billion,” said Mohd Shahar who was responding to a question from Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun.

Of the total development expenditure, 82.5% of it was channelled to economic and social sectors while some of the expenditure for Covid-19 was used to fund GKP which amounted to RM2 billion and wage subsidies that cost RM3.7 billion, among others.

He added that although the government revenue increased by 4.6% or RM106.4 billion in 1H21 compared to the same period last year, the amount was still lower than the estimate in Budget 2021 announced last year.