KUALA LUMPUR – The Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (SAMENTA) has called on the government to prioritise the survival of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the coming months as they go through a “steep and difficult recovery,” reported Bernama.
SAMENTA president Datuk William Ng said SMEs are facing several difficulties, including rising costs and labour challenges.
“Until and unless these are resolved or substantially mitigated, any hope of a full recovery to the pre-pandemic level is an unrealistic illusion,” he said in a statement on February 20.
Ng said the government must be realistic in trying to implement adjustments that would affect SMEs.
For example, he noted that recent justifications for a wage increment or electricity bill hike did not account for the sector’s compounded loss.
“It makes little sense for SMEs to be warned not to increase prices or lay off redundant workers when costs are spiralling, coupled with our inability to operate at pre-pandemic levels,” he added.
The association urged the government to take immediate steps to save SMEs and called for firmer policy interventions at this juncture to help lift them, and by extension, the economy, to pre-pandemic levels.
It pointed out that some of the low-hanging fruits that could be implemented now to save SMEs include halting the increment in electricity bills, speeding up the transition to market-led financing, and to re-open the borders immediately.
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