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KUCHING, Nov 21: The Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) urges the Sarawak government to aggressively promote financial assistance among Bumiputera entrepreneurs, particularly those in rural areas.
According to a press statement issued by DCCI secretary general Libat Langub, DCCI welcomes the proposed RM4.540 billion, or 60 per cent of the Development Expenditure Estimates in the Sarawak Budget 2023, which was tabled today, for rural development.
He emphasised that many rural areas and villages lack basic infrastructures such as good roads, clean water, electricity, and telecommunication and internet connectivity.
“Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg’s commitment to achieving 100 per cent coverage for water and electricity supply by 2030 and allocating RM26 million for next year’s electricity supply projects is highly commendable.
“This will greatly help and enhance the socioeconomic status of the people, especially in rural Sarawak,” he said.
He said that DCCI also welcomes the Premier’s statement that various initiatives such as soft loans, interest subsidies, financial assistance for start-ups, product development, capacity building, e-commerce, promotion, and marketing will continue to be implemented to ensure business continuity.
“It is our view that the Special Relief Fund, the Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility (TRRF), and the Penjana Tourism Fund (PTF), with an allocation of RM18 million, as well as the Skim Kredit Mikro Sarawak and Skim Pinjaman Industri Kecil dan Sederhana (SPIKS) of RM14 million will greatly assist many entrepreneurs and businessmen including DCCI members in expanding their business undertakings.
“We would like to urge the State government to aggressively promote these financial assistance among Bumiputera entrepreneurs, including those in rural areas, by providing adequate information and ensuring that such assistance or funds reach the intended target recipients.
“In this respect, we also advise DCCI members to apply for such financial assistance when it becomes available,” he highlighted.
Langub also stated that DCCI members who are rural entrepreneurs with technical skills, as well as graduates and school leavers, will be able to benefit significantly from the proposed RM7 million budget under the Graduan Ke Arah Keusahawanan (GERAK), Usahawan Teknikal and Vokasional (USTEV), and Transformasi Usahawan Desa Sarawak to start and expand their businesses.
“As for the ‘Go Digital Programme’ allocation of RM5 million to develop digital savvy SMEs to assist them in marketing their products and services through e-commerce platforms, DCCI is of the view that the allocation is insufficient considering its growing importance in the business world.
“Digital marketing, for example, has become a game changer, indispensable and fundamental for business success.
“As such, we urge the Premier to increase the said allocation for digital programmes substantially,” he remarked. — DayakDaily