Pending rep: Why is BKSS 7.0 for SMEs delayed?

Yong (seating second left) and Chong (seating right) meeting with Dr Muhammad Abdullah and his team yesterday.

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KUCHING, July 17: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong has questioned the Sarawak government regarding the delay in processing the Bantuan Khas Sarawaku Sayang (BKSS) 7.0 for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and 7.0 Plus for Micro Businesses applications.

In a statement today, Yong said, many applicants expressed great disappointment with the State government in taking more than eight months to handle and process both assistances.

“The problem of not having a special service line to enable the public to call and check on the status of applications also gives rise to people’s frustration over the issue.

“On April 1, 2022, the promised one off financial assistance of BKSS 7.0 and 7.0 Plus was announced by the Sarawak government in August, 2021 which are supposed to assist the business sectors to tide over difficult time during Covid-19 Pandemic have not completed processing and disbursed to all qualified applicants,” she said.

Yong said, together with Padungan assemblyman, who is also Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen, they had a meeting with the Director of Sarawak Economic Planning Unit (EPU) Datu Dr Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel and his team yesterday (June 16) to follow up on the issue given that many eligible companies which had applied for the financial aid before are clueless as to their status of applications.

According to her, she also handed over the list of companies that had sought assistance from her but had not yet received the promised aid till now.

She said during the meeting, the EPU revealed that there are about 7,000 applications which have yet to be verified and the unit is working hard to finalise the applications.

She also said an EPU officer responsible for BKSS7.0 and 7.0 Plus did not give a definite answer to their enquiries but stressed that they will do their best to process it as soon as possible as the verification process is a tedious task.

“In the meeting, apart from urging for another chance to be given to applicants to rectify the error of information submitted before or missed the re-submission deadline earlier this year, I called on EPU to step up their efforts by increasing the manpower to speed up the whole process in order to ensure this BKSS 7.0 and 7.0 Plus issue could come to completion rather than keep dragging on,” she added. — DayakDaily