KUCHING: Business community impacted by the Covid-19 has been called to apply for the various financial assistances provided by the Sarawak government under the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) packages.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said that apart from the federal financial packages, the state government has also provided numerous assistances valued at RM5.3 billion under the BKSS 1.0 to 7.0 to further lessen the financial burden of Sarawakians, as well as to further assist the state’s business communities.
He said the assistance, among others, included the Internet Subsidy Schemes for Special Relief Facility (SRF), Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility (TRRF) and Penjana Tourism Financing (PTF); Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme (SMCS); Small and Medium Industry Loan Scheme (SPIKS); Go Digital Programme and Digital Marketing Training; among others.
“The Sarawak government is providing three-and-a-half years interest to subsidies for three financing facilities under Bank Negara Malaysia, namely SRF, TRRF and PTF.
“While application for SRF has closed since December last year, funds for TRRF and PTF are still available until Dec 31 or until the respective fund is exhausted.
“Hence, we would like to encourage all of our local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the services and tourism sectors to grab the opportunities while the schemes are still available,” he said when officiating at the opening of Sarawak Chief Minister’s Industry Excellence Award (CMIEA) 2021 via Zoom today.
He added that Sarawak was the only state that provided interest subsidy for SRF, TRRF and PTF to assist local SMEs to further lessen their financial burdens, where the total interest subsidy for the three schemes was budgeted at RM80.7 million.
He said under the interest subsidy scheme for SRF, a total of 1,918 local SMEs have benefited from the scheme with a total loan facility of RM560.67 million, and an estimated interest subsidy of RM47 million.
“For the TRRF, a total loan of RM229 million has been approved by the respective banks to 2,035 Sarawakian SMEs up to date, with the estimated interest subsidy of RM22.14 million.
“As for the PTF, a total loan of RM20.55 million has been approved by the respective banks to 815 Sarawakian SMEs to date, with the estimated interest subsidy of RM1.96 million,” he said.
Apart from that, for the Sarawak Micro-Credit Scheme, a total of 1,879 applications have been received with a total loan facility of RM69.32 million to date.
“Meanwhile, 188 Bumiputera SMEs have benefited through SPIKS with total approved loan of RM19.06 million.
“All the successful applicants will enjoy the moratorium and interest subsidy for three-and-a-half years under BKSS,” he said.
Under the Go Digital programme, he mentioned that eligible entrepreneurs are entitled to a maximum grant of RM10,000 for purchasing of hardware and software to onboard digital platforms, which would benefit 4,000 entrepreneurs.
In addition, the recently announced BKSS 7.0 valued at RM800 million was to further assist the business community through various measures.
“The Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years have caused many hardships to the people including the business communities, and the government understands and empathises with the rakyat and business community.
“Thus, both the federal and state governments have come up with numerous initiatives and strategies to ensure the welfare of the rakyat and business community are taken care of, as well as to ensure the recovery of the economy,” said Awang Tengah.
Also present during the launch of CMIEA 2021 were Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg and Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) director general Datuk Abdul Latif Abu Seman.