Govt shelled out RM6.08b to help over a million micro SMEs during pandemic — Tengku Zafrul

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 23): More than a million micro-entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have benefitted from the RM6.08 billion obtained through the government’s special Prihatin Special Grant (GKP) payments since the Covid-19 pandemic hit Malaysia in 2020, according to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

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He said the recent GKP, which is the fourth series of payments, has been banked into recipients’ bank accounts on Sept 21.

He said the first payment on Sept 21 was RM500 to more than a million micro SMEs, while he also explained that this was the first phase of the payment with an additional RM500 to be paid in November.

Tengku Zafrul was replying to Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (Bersatu-Sabak Bernam) at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Fasiah also asked the finance minister to explain the roles of development banks in helping micro traders.

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Tengku Zafrul replied that the role of these development financial institutions (DFIs) is to support and ensure the longevity of micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs by facilitating financing and loan packages for them.

He said the ministry has asked the DFIs to draft practical solutions to limit the use of burdensome financing criteria to help businesses recover and operate as the economy is reopening in the country.

Tengku Zafrul also said DFIs such as Bank Simpanan Nasional, Bank Kerjasama Rakyat, Agrobank and SME Bank have implemented initiatives and financing schemes worth RM8.1 billion through Bank Negara Malaysia. -The Edge Markets