SMEs told Special Relief Facility (SRF) fund no longer available

Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong (Suara Sarawak Pic)

By Emma Victoria

THE hope of many Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) went down the drain as they were told the Special Relief Facility (SRF) fund has been fully utilised and no longer available.

Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong said there were also incidents where applicants who had signed the Letter of Offer, were yet to receive any loan from Bank Negera Malaysia (BNM).

The scheme with a financing rate of 3.5 per cent per annum, she said, was supposed to alleviate the short-term cash flow difficulties faced by SMEs arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

But, many applicants have been informed that the fund has been fully utilised.

“Is the country’s coffer running dry or the government using the so called low interest as a “soothing pill” to please the SMEs during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

As the MCO is about to be lifted soon, many started receiving feedback and messages that the fund was no longer offered.

Hence, they will not be getting low interest loans as promised by the government?” Yong said in a statement.

This also happened to the state government’s interest-free loan to SMEs, whereby applicants were told that the fund was no longer being offered.

She said many SMEs and companies felt played out by the both federal and state governments.

“I urge the governments and BNM to immediately come out with an explanation on the matter as many SMEs require the loan to get through this difficult and challenging times due to the MCO and Covid-19 pandemic.

This is not the time for the government to play out the public’s sentiments especially the SMEs which contribute to about 40% of Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

They are the backbone that drive our country’s economy and the government must ensure whatever has been promised to help the SMEs is fulfilled,” she stressed.

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