Assistance for small and medium enterprises

Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais

KUCHING: The Sarawak government has been offering assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for many years, says Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais.

The Assistant International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development (Mintred) Minister pointed out that financial assistance under Sarawakku Sayang Special Aid (BKSS) 1.0 to 6.0 was designed for SMEs in both M40 and B40 groups.

“The assistance is in various forms like grants, easy loans and subsidies. They are offered through my ministry, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) as well as other state ministries, departments and economics.

“Some of them are Skim Pinjaman Industri Kecil dan Sederhana with maximum loan of up to RM250,000; Skim Kredit Mikro Sarawak with a maximum of RM50,000 as well as Grant Usahan Teknikal dan Vokasional and Graduan Ke Arah Keushawanan with a maximum of up to RM20,000.”

Naroden added that special packages, including moratorium with free interest for a period of 42 months, were also introduced.

“The moratorium is granted to SMEs if they applied before June last year. However, the state government has proposed to extend that period to December this year due to the enforcement of the movement control order.

“The SMEs will have to pay the principal amount only and not the interest for a period of 42 months from the day the loan is approved.

“All financial assistance under BKSS 1.0 to 6.0 are designed for SMEs both M40 and B40. The terms and conditions for B40 SMEs are even much simpler. They just need business permits from the councils, not necessary from SSM or LHDN.

“However, they may have been so called ‘left out’ due to the inability to visit our office, SEDC and Agrobank offices to get the necessary application forms, unable to access information through digital platforms due to lack of network connectivity in their respective locations or they may not understand how to use the digital platforms.”

He advised such SMEs to contact the ministry’s offices, SEDC’s offices and Agrobank statewide.

“Loan schemes like Targeted Relief and Revival Funds (TRRF) and the National Economic Recovery Plan Tourism loan introduced by the federal government earlier this year as well as our interest subsidies by the state government until the end of the year are still available.

“TRRF was introduced to replace the Special Relief and Revival Fund (SRRF). It is meant for those who have missed the SRRF last year. The federal government is also still offering packages for workers’ salaries.”