Bank Negara announces extra measures to support SMEs and individuals

Bank Negara Malaysia

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Mar 27: Bank Negara Malaysia (Bank Negara) has announced additional measures to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals to mitigate the impact of loss of income from the movement control order (MCO) period.

Bank Negara in a statement said the central bank has increased its financing facilities by RM4 billion for SMEs.

It believed that the bigger credit facility will help to support businesses and enable companies to retain employees for their jobs.

Bank Negara said, “(There will be) an increase in the allocation of the special relief fund from RM2 billion to RM5 billion to provide relief assistance to more SMEs who are affected by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

“The maximum financing rate is now lowered from 3.75 per cent per annum to 3.5 per cent per year.

“(There will also be) an increase in the allocation for all economic sectors (AES) facility from RM5.8 billion to RM6.8 billion to enhance access to financing for SMEs and to support growth.

“The maximum financing rate is also reduced from 8 per cent per annum to 7 per cent per annum.

“In addition, there are three other facilities which the SMEs can apply namely the Automation and Digitalisation Facility (ADF), Agrofood Facility and Micro Enterprises Facility (MEF),” the central bank said.

Besides that, Bank Negara has also allowed certain individuals who have been affected by Covid-19 to defer the payment of life, general and family takaful premiums.

It explained that the life, general and family takaful operators will allow those affected an option to defer the premium for three months without affecting the policy coverage.

The central bank expounded that the flexibility may be provided by life, general and family takaful operators through a no-lapse guarantee, or any other means that maintain the policy.

It disclosed that the option will be available from April 1 until December 31.

Apart from that, Bank Negara said insurers are being told to expedite the insurance money claims process related to Covid-19.—DayakDaily