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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Nov 12: A sum of RM30 million has been allocated for the Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme under the Sarawak 2020 Budget to enable households earning below RM4,000 (B40) to have the chance to improve their income and livelihood, revealed Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
Under the scheme, loans of between RM1,000-RM10,000 will be interest-free. Those taking up loans of between RM5,000-RM50,000 will have to pay a declining interest of 4 per cent per annum for a period of 1-5 years.
Those taking up loans of between RM1,000-RM10,000, will just have to pay a 2 per cent one-off management fee and a loan period of between 1-3 years is imposed.
Meanwhile, those taking up loans of RM5,000-RM50,000, just need to have one referee to be eligible to obtain the loan.
“This scheme is open to all Sarawakians regardless of their race, be they Bumiputera or non-Bumiputera. This is the Sarawak government’s effort to help the B40 group and to encourage the development of small and medium enterprise (SMEs),” Awang Tengah told a news conference after his winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex today.
Awang Tengah also stressed that those who wished to apply for the scheme would need to present all the necessary supporting documents such as business and trading licences from the relevant authorities.
He said for now, the Sarawak government is collaborating with Agro Bank for the credit facilities.
He also said it would take 14 working days for the documents to be processed.
Meanwhile, Awang Tengah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister revealed that to date, the State Industrial Coordination Committee (ICC) has approved 43 investment projects totalling RM17.85 billion, creating about 10,000 employment opportunities in Sarawak.
Out of these, eleven (11) are ICA (Industrial Coordination Act 1975) projects totalling RM17.69 billion, mainly in basic metal products, chemical products, wood-based products, petroleum related products, non-metallic mineral and food manufacturing, creating about 9,000 employment opportunities.
“These investments include the RM17 billion steel project of which its Detailed EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) report has been approved by the Department of Environment, and it is pending its Manufacturing Licence approval by the National Committee for Investment at the federal level.
“Another 6 ICA projects worth RM693.8 million (wood-based, petroleum related products, chemical products, etc) are still under consideration,” he said.