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by Peter Sibon
KUCHING, April 1: The Sarawak government has allocated RM50 million for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Sarawak under the micro credit scheme.
Assistant Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industry Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais said, the scheme would benefit the B40 and M40 groups, for both Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera.
“We want to emphasise that all Sarawakians are eligible to apply for the micro credit scheme. Meaning for Bumiputera and also non-Bumiputera,” Naroden told DayaDaily today.
He added that for those who apply for a loan of between RM1,000-RM10,000, it would be interest-free.
“For this category, those whose businesses are not registered with SSM, are also eligible as long as they have permits from the councils to ply their trade. For instance, those who sell satay and cucur pisang are also eligible,” he said.
Naroden reiterated that for those whose loans of RM1,000-RM10,000 have been approved this month, they will only have to pay the loan starting in October.
“As for those whose loan is between RM10,000-RM50,000, the interest would be only four per cent but they would pay the interest based on declining balance of their loans. Meaning, if the period of payment is between three to five years, they will only have their loans plus interest of only two per cent,” he said.
He said people may apply for the micro-credit online from Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), Agro Bank and from his ministry.
Naroden said, the RM50 million allocation for the micro credit scheme is made available through the initial RM30 million allocation for this year’s budget and the additional RM20 million as part of Sarawak’s Economic Aid Package as announced by Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development yesterday.
On a related issue, Naroden, who is also Gedong assemblyman rebutted Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s statement to use the state’s reserves to assist SMEs as the state has other means to do so.
“At the moment, we don’t have to use our reserves as we have other means to do it,” he said.
Yesterday Chong urged the Sarawak government to use its reserves to assist SMEs in the state due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Naroden advised the public to adhere to the MCO as the Covid-19 pandemic is at a critical level.
“The hope of the government is to contain Covid-19. So, we hope that everyone will abide with the MCO. And hopefully, we can contain this deadly pandemic so that business can be resume after the MCO ends on April 14,” he added. — DayakDaily