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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Sept 7: The Sarawak government will waive the monthly rental of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating at Ready-Built Factories (RBFs) located at Demak Laut Industrial Park, Kuching.
International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development (Mintred) Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the effective period for rental waivers is from July to December this year.
“The rental waiver will involves 14 SMEs for 15 units of RBF at the Demak Baru Industrial Park Phase 3 which amounts to a total cost of RM123,750,” he said at a virtual press conference livestreamed on the Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) Facebook page today.
This waiver is part of the assistance programmes under Sarawakku Sayang Special Aid (BKSS) package implemented by Mintred to provide financial assistance and loans as temporary relief to the State’s entrepreneurs and business community.
Other programmes implemented by the ministry include Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme (SKMS), SME Loan Scheme (SPIKS), Graduates Towards Entrepreneurship (Gerak), Technical and Vocational Entrepreneurships Programme (Ustev), Special Relief Fund (SRF), Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility (TRRF) and Penjana Tourism Financing (PTF).
On the SKMS scheme, Awang Tengah said a total of 1,463 applicants have been approved for 3.5 years of interest subsidies amounting to RM4.73 million as of Aug 31, 2021.
“The SKMS scheme offers loans up to a maximum of RM50,000 with an interest rate of 4 per cent based on a reduced monthly balance.
“It does not require a guarantor and only requires at least a business permit issued by the Local Authority or relevant agency. Applications may be submitted to Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and Agrobank,” he said.
Meanwhile, SPIKS is an initiative to assist Bumiputera SMEs including micro-entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in terms of working capital and purchase of machinery and equipment.
The scheme offers loans of up to RM250,000 with an interest rate of 4 per cent based on the declining balance and is implemented by SEDC.
A total of 411 applicants have been approved for 3.5 years of interest subsidies amounting to RM0.54 million as of Aug 31, 2021.
“Under the Gerak and Ustev programmes, a total of 652 graduates and youths with technical skills are eligible for grants worth up to a maximum of RM20,000 to start and grow their businesses.
“To make it easier for graduates and youths to submit applications for both programmes, the ministry is accepting online and manual applications,” said Awang Tengah.
He further explained that SRF, TRRF and PTF are loans provided by the federal government and Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia that provides interest subsidy schemes for SMEs under these three schemes.
“To date, the interest subsidy for SRF, TRRF and PTF is estimated to be RM88.2 million.
“However, the application for SRF was closed on Dec 31, 2020 as decided by the federal government.
“Meanwhile, application for both TRRF and PTF schemes are available until Dec 31, 2021 and can be made through 12 participating local banks. They are Public Bank, Maybank, CIMB, SME Bank, Ambank, Bank Muamalat, RHB, Hong Leong Bank, Alliance Bank, Agrobank, Bank Rakyat and Bank Islam,” he elaborated.
Also present at the press conference were Entrepreneur and SME Development Assistant Minister Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais and the Ministry’s permanent secretary Datuk Liaw Soon Eng. – DayakDaily