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SemarakNiaga to give more focus, aid to MSMEs

The programme encompasses direct loans, financing guarantees and equity injections to revive and ensure the viability of the industry

by ASILA JALIL / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE government has allocated RM40 billion of assistance under SemarakNiaga especially for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as it is focused on helping businesses to get back on their feet post-pandemic.

The breakdown of the amount includes RM1.8 billion for micro credit financing, RM2.2 billion for equity or alternative financing, RM14.2 billion for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) easy loans and RM22 billion for Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Bhd scheme.

The SemarakNiaga programme will be launched today by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

It encompasses direct loans, financing guarantees and equity injections to revive and ensure the viability of the industry.

According to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in its 85th financial report, the government has provided an additional financing facility of RM4.5 billion to support SMEs recovery, which increased the total fund to RM11.2 billion in September 2021.

Among the assistance listed under the fund includes the targeted relief and recovery facility (TRRF) which received an additional RM2 billion to RM8 billion to help SMEs in the services sector that were affected.

“Under the enhanced TRRF, SMEs can use up to 30% from the approved financing to pay back their existing business financing.

“The financing size offered is up to RM500,000 for each SMEs and RM75,000 for MSMEs with an interest rate up to 3.5% a year including guarantee fees,” MoF said.

The repayment period for this financing is up to seven years including a minimum of six-month moratorium.

An allocation of RM600 million is provided under the Penjana Tourism Financing for SMEs and MSMEs that were affected by the pandemic.

As at Feb 11, 2022, there were 730 applications for the financing and of the total, 376 applications have been approved with financing worth RM75.5 million.

The government has also allocated RM700 million to support SMEs and mid-tier companies to digitalise their operations and trading channels. As at Feb 11, a total of RM91.8 million has been channelled to 13,891 businesses in the form of grants and loans for digitalisation services subscription.

Among other initiatives include SME Soft Loan Funds run by Bank Negara Malaysia which has seen RM12.59 billion of approved applications which will benefit 26,379 SMEs.

The amount comprises Special Relief Facility fund, Automation and Digitalisation Facility, All-Economic Sector Facility and Agrofood Facility.

The Danajamin Prihatin Guarantee Scheme parked under Prihatin had received applications from 89 companies where a total of RM2.055 billion of financing has been approved as at Feb 11 for 58 companies.

Besides providing assistance for SMEs and MSMEs, the government is also committed to provide more job opportunities to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.

Under Budget 2022, the Malaysia ShortTerm Employment Programme (MySTEP) offers 80,000 employment opportunities through contracts which include 50,000 jobs in the public sector and 30,000 in government-linked companies (GLCs) and their strategic partners.

As at Feb 15, the MySTEP programme has received 5,944 applications and of the total, 452 participants have been placed in either the public sector or GLCs.

In addition to that, the government together with Malaysia Digital Economy Corp has introduced MyDigitalWorkforce to improve employee’s skills and abilities by encouraging companies to employ Malaysians in the technology and digital sectors via salary incentives and subsidies for training programmes.

As at Feb 11, the programme has received 2,381 applications and of the total, 313 individuals have succeeded in getting employed in jobs involving technology and digital services.

Zukri

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