KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 -- (Bernama) -- The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) has offered a deferment of repayment of funding disbursed by agencies under its ambit to entrepreneurs and cooperatives (co-ops) beginning March 16, 2020.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said MEDAC has also taken other proactive measures to ease the burden of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), micro-enterprises and co-ops affected by COVID-19.

He said these include financing assistance, full withdrawal of savings, rescheduling of financing, and exemption or reduction of rental rates.

Bank Rakyat provides additional funding of RM200 million to meet the needs of co-ops, micro-enterprises and SMEs as of March 23, 2020, subject to the conditions set out, he said in a statement.

A total of 500 co-ops and 2,000 micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs will benefit from this financing.

The financing programme includes the BizCare Special Financing Programme for SMEs, micro-enterprises and co-ops and the Credit Card-i Cash-Advance Programme.

SME Bank is offering financing of up to RM1.0 million for a period of 5.5 years at a rate of 3.75 per cent to eligible entrepreneurs under the Special Relief Facility (SRF) scheme provided by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

"With this announcement, it is hoped that SME entrepreneurs, micro-enterprises and co-ops will be able to tide over the Movement Control Order positively and have confident in the government’s effort to resolve issues affecting them," Wan Junaidi said.

He said National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (TEKUN Nasional) entrepreneurs are entitled defer the repayment of their loans of up to six months.

Overlapping of financing with an increase in the amount of financing from the existing balance can be provided to affected TEKUN National entrepreneurs up to a maximum of RM10,000.

The rntrepreneurs are also given an exception to withdraw their entire savings. The withdrawal of savings is subject to previous savings balance, while current withdrawal of funding (if any) is not allowed.

"It is expected that 20,000 TEKUN Nasional entrepreneurs will be able to use this assistance for which RM180 million has been allocated," Wan Junaidi said.

The Malaysian Cooperative Commission (SKM) has extended the date of the Annual General Meeting to another three months for 14,600 co-ops under its auspices.

Co-ops may also apply for deferment of the repayment of the Revolving Fund (TMP-JPK) and other financing disbursed by SKM. The deferment will be given due consideration and is expected to involve an estimated cost of RM16.5 million.

Meanwhile, Bank Rakyat is offering a moratorium to individuals and companies in COVID-19-affected industries such as aviation, tourism and transportation with a six-month deferment period and a 50 per cent reduction in the rate of cash withdrawal compared to 18 per cent currently.

Meanwhile, SME Bank is offering a six-month repayment deferment and loan restructuring on a case-by-case basis which is expected to benefit more than 2,800 customers with financing value of RM4.5 billion.

About 1,500 tenants of UDA Holdings Bhd's premises are expected to benefit from the exemption or reduction of rental rate costing RM4 million.

Co-ops can also ask for rental reduction for SKM-managed buildings up to a maximum of 50 per cent over a given period.

The Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MAGIC) will also grant a five-month rental exemption to Co-Working Space (CWS) tenants at MAGIC, Cyberjaya and B744 Kuching.

SME Bank will defer up to six months the rental payment of the SME Bank Entrepreneur Premise Complex involving 248 tenants with a cost savings of RM2.3 million, Wan Junaidi said.

He said entrepreneurship and business training programmes would be continued online by the National Entrepreneurship Institute (INSKEN), MAGIC and Malaysian Cooperative Institute (IKM), while registration fees would be refunded by INSKEN for cancelled courses.

The registration of Bumiputera-status certificates will also be approved even if investigations on the premises have yet to be carried out.

However, when the situation returns to normal, the investigation will be carried out and the registration licence of companies will be revoked if they do not meet the Bumiputera-status criteria.

For further information, visit -- BERNAMA


TAGS: MEDAC, SME, Bank Rakyat, TEKUN Nasional, Cooperatives, Entrepreneurs