KUALA LUMPUR – The government plans to assist the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by providing them capital to restart their business following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Bernama.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said it is currently studying the mechanism, including whether to require no repayment or to offer a moratorium on principal or interest payments.
“I have discussed with the finance minister to look into the matter so that the government can provide them assistance in terms of capital to resume business,” he said in an interview aired on local television stations on October 3.
During his discussion with the Finance Ministry (MoF), he said, it was noted that the one-off assistance given previously was not enough.
“The one-off assistance of RM3,000 may help the micro entrepreneurs in terms of sustaining livelihood; but as the economy continues to reopen, many companies, especially the micro enterprises, have already folded and hence the entrepreneurs need capital to start up again,” he said.
According to him, the MoF is studying the mechanism to ensure that when assistance is given, the entrepreneurs will truly be able to start their business.
On eradicating poverty, Ismail Sabri said the pandemic has increased the poverty rate and the government has made various plans to assist the hardcore poor, including the plan to empower the Bumiputera MSMEs so that they can contribute 15% to the Gross Domestic Product.
The government will provide training not only in terms of products that they want to trade but also management, he said.
“We need to provide hands-on support for at least six months so that we can monitor (their progress),” he added.
Towards that objective, Ismail Sabri said, a special task force will be formed at district level to obtain comprehensive data on the aid and support given by the government as well as the outcomes, including how many poor people have been successfully helped.
“(Meanwhile,) at the national level, the Cabinet has decided to establish a special task force for 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) monitoring chaired by the prime minister, and we will hold fortnightly meetings to monitor the plan’s implementation,” he added.
Read more: Highlights of the 12th Malaysia Plan