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By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, April 6: The federal government is providing more assistance to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to mitigate the impact arising from the movement control order (MCO).
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled more incentives with an additional allocation of RM10 billion to assist the SMEs, which include business for instance “kolok mee” operator.
“One example is Restaurant Mi Kolok Hj Salleh in Kuching, Sarawak. For instance, there are five local workers with salary of less than RM4,000 and two foreign workers.
“To sustain the cash flow of the business during MCO, the owner of the restaurant can apply for RM50,000 micro credit loan from Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN).
“The owner can also apply for wages subsidy programme for five local workers amounting RM18,000.
“At the same time, the restaurant owner can save money from the exemption of contributing to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), which amounted to RM8,400.
“The owner can also defer to pay tax amounting to RM5,200,” he said when unveiling additional economic stimulus package for SMEs at a press conference at Putrajaya.
Under the new economic stimulus package for SMEs, Muhyiddin said companies that employed local employees with salary of less than RM4,000 will be given certain incentives.
This include subsiding RM600 for each worker up to a maximum of 200 employees from 100 employees previously, RM800 for an employee for companies with 76 to 200 employees and RM1,200 for companies with 75 employees and below.
Muhyiddin explained that the assistance is for three months specifically for companies registered with Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) before January 1 and registered with Self Employment Social Security Scheme (Perkeso).
More than 4.8 million workers in the country is expected to benefit from the assistance, he said.
He added that employers are required to retain their employees for six months; three months upon receiving the benefit from wage subsidy programme and three months thereafter.
Additionally, Muhyiddin said the federal government has formed a special Prihatin grant for micro SMEs amounted to RM2.1 billion.
He noted that 700,000 micro SMEs throughout the country will be allocated with RM3,000 each from the grant.
Muhyiddin explained the micro SMEs need to be registered with the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) to receive the grant.
Apart from that, he said the federal government has taken several initiatives to reduce the cost of doing business.
Those include offering zero interest financing for micro credit scheme below RM500 million, exemption of rental payment or discounts for retail outlets under government agencies and 25 per cent discount for foreign workers’ levy, whose permit expiring from April 1 to Dec 31.
Furthermore, Muhyiddin disclosed that the federal government has agreed to provide automatic moratorium of 30 days from the last day of the MCO period ended for companies to submit their statutory documents to SSM.
He said the submission of companies financial statements of these companies with financial year ended September 2019 to December 2019 is extended three months from the last day of the MCO.
Muhyiddin revealed that companies need to apply for the relaxation from SSM so that there is no late penalty fees to be charged.
The prime minister said the federal government will set up a portal known as imsme.com.my, managed by Credit Guarantee Corporation with the assistance of Bank Negara Malaysia, to facilitate SMEs to apply for financing which he announced.
“SMEs is the backbone of the country’s economy and has contributed more than 40 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Malaysia.
“Businesses face a challenging times during the MCO period due to loss of income and increased cost of doing business.”
At the same time, he urged employers not to retrench their employees during this challenging time as the federal government is concerned with the welfare of workers during MCO.
He urged employers to seek amicable solutions with their employees, which include discussion for a reduction in employee’s salary or asking employees to take unpaid leave during MCO. — DayakDaily