By S. Harrish
THE government has unveiled a special stimulus package worth RM10bil for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as it tries to soften the impact of the Covid-19 Movement Control Order (MCO).
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this was necessary as SMEs and micro-businesses made up two-thirds of the workforce and generated 40 per cent of the country’s economy.
He said the government will increase the wage subsidy of RM600 monthly for employers from RM5.9bil announced on March 27 to RM13.8bil, an additional RM7.9bil.
An RM2.1bil Prihatin Special Grant will be created for all SME companies that qualify.
There will also be a Special Grant of RM3,000 to each company, and it is expected to benefit nearly 700,000 micro SMEs nationwide. These SMEs must register with the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) to enjoy the facility.
The government will obtain a list of eligible SMEs from the Local Authorities and Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).
Muhyiddin said the government will also abolish the two per cent interest rate for the RM500mil Micro Credit Scheme under Bank Simpanan Nasional.
The micro loan scheme for micro businesses has also been extended to Tekun Nasional with a maximum loan limit of RM10,000 per company at no interest.
A sum of RM200 million has been allocated for this but applicants can only choose from one of these schemes.