Naroden to Chang: M40 group and SMEs not overlooked under BKSS 6.0

Datuk Naroden Majais

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, June 24: Assistant Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Naroden Majais has rebuked allegations from Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang, who said that the M40 group and SMEs were overlooked by the State government under the sixth edition of the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) cash aid.

Naroden in a statement today said the Sarawak government has provided various financial assistance as well as grants and discounts to the M40 group and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under BKSS 6.0.

Those include special grants to hawker and petty traders, cash aid to licensed taxi drivers, waiver of rental to SMEs in the retail sector, waiver of permits and licence fees under local authorities and so forth.

“The latest RM1.4 billion allocation under BKSS 6.0 announced by YAB Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) recently includes the extension of assistance to SMEs.

“(Among them) a total of RM97.5 million special grant to hawkers and petty traders registered with local authorities (RM1,500 per person).

“A total of RM2.20 million to licensed 1,980 taxi drivers, 960 van operators and 740 school bus/van operators (RM600 one-off assistance per person).

“Waiver of rentals with a total of RM2 million to SMEs in retail sector (including ready built factories under Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development) operating on premises owned by State government-linked companies (GLCs) for six months (July-December 2021),” he said in a statement.

Naroden added there were also discounts for rental of market and stalls totalling RM1.7 million which benefited more than 10,000 registered hawkers and petty traders under local authorities.

He was responding to a statement by Chang on May 29 who said that the M40 group and SMEs were overlooked under BKSS 6.0.

“At the same time, the Sarawak Government will continue to provide interest subsidies for 3.5 years for those who are eligible under Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility (TRRF), which was initiated by the Federal Government.

“This 3.5 years interest-subsidy program for TRRF will be available to all eligible applicants until year end.

“The TRRF is to cater for SMEs under the services sectors including the small traders such as repair of computers, household goods, laundry, hairdressing, beauty, food and beverage service activities, human health and social work activities, arts, entertainment and recreation, wholesale and retail trade and business services (professional, scientific and technical activities, administrative and support service activities),” he explained. — DayakDaily