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S’wak Govt Exchanges Moas With 7 Banks For BKSS 2.0 Smes Special Relief Fund

Date : 20 May 2020     Source : The Borneo Post Online

Liaw (fourth left) exchanging the MoA with Maybank Sarawak regional director Nasir Khan (third right) while witnessed by Abang Johari (centre), Awang Tengah (third left) and others.

KUCHING: The Sarawak government today exchanged Memorandum of Agreements (MoAs) with seven banks for the RM1 billion Sarawakku Sayang Assistance Package (BKSS) 2.0 Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Special Relief Fund (SRF).

The state government was represented by Ministry of International Trade, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development permanent secretary Datu Liaw Soon Eng during the exchange of MoAs with Maybank, Hong Leong Bank, RHB Bank, CIMB Bank, Public Bank, SME Bank and Bank Muamalat in a simple ceremony held at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here.

Present to witness the exchange of documents were Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

Under BKSS 2.0, additional measures have been introduced speficially to help SMEs to weather this period of economic uncertainty, including interest-free soft loans and waiver of rentals for SMEs in retail sector on premises owned by state government-linked companies (GLCs).

Awang Tengah in his speech said based on feedback received from the business community requesting the expansion of interest-free soft loan facility for SMEs in BKSS 2.0 to have more banks in addition to Maybank, Hong Leong Bank and RHB Bank, four more commercial banks have agreed to participate namely CIMB Bank, Public Bank, SME Bank and Bank Muamalat.

“Through this scheme, which is coordinated by the Ministry of International Trade, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development in collaboration with these participating banks under the Bank Negara Malaysia SRF, the interest-free loans, totalling up to RM1.0 billion are made available for eligible Sarawakian SMEs,” he said.

He pointed out that the state government recognised that SMEs serve as the key drivers and backbone to Sarawak’s economy, providing jobs and business opportunities to Sarawakians.

“SMEs make up over 98.5 per cent of our business sector, contributed 20 per cent to Sarawak gross domestic product (GDP) and provide about 600,000 jobs for Sarawakians,” he said, adding that there are more than 40,000 SMEs operating in the state.

The International Trade, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Minister said in order to qualify for the scheme, registered Sarawak companies need to comply with National SME Development Council (NSDC) SME’s definition and meet financing conditions of working capital in respect to salary payment; interest-free loan amount from RM20,000 to RM500,000; no collateral required; sole proprietorship, partnership and Sdn Bhd; and business in operations three years and more.

“Eligible SMEs can apply for the loans directly from any branches of Maybank, Hong Leong Bank, RHB Bank, CIMB Bank, Public Bank, SME Bank and Bank Muamalat.

“All SMEs have an option to apply for either Islamic or conventional loans for the scheme,” he said.

He also said the state government will absorb the interest costs due to be released to the SMEs.

“The financial implication for the interest rates subsidy over the three-and-a-half years is expected to be RM80.7 million.

“We hope this scheme can provide the much-needed relief to the SMEs during this difficult time, to sustain the businesses during the downturn, and to provide resiliency for the businesses to bounce back when the economy recovers in the coming years,” said Awang Tengah.

He added that so far, a total of 3,177 loan applications have been received of which 1,388 have been approved.

He added that as of today, the total amount of loan approved under SRF for Sarawak is more than RM650 million, benefiting more than 1,700 SMEs across the state

Also present was State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion.

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