KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 (Bernama) — To accelerate the participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the economic activity, the government has proposed the implementation of SME Investment Partner, whereby RM375 million will be provided for a period of five years, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. In his speech when tabling the budget, themed ‘Budget 2015: People Economy’, Najib said under the programme, SMEs will be given financing assistance in the form of loans, equity or both, particularly at the start-up stage. “From the RM375 million, RM250 million will be coming from the SME Bank and RM125 million from private investors.
“In addition, RM10 million will be allocated for the Business Accelerator Programme under SME Corp,” he said. Najib said to enhance the use of technology, automation and innovation in the development of SMEs, RM80 million will be allocated for a soft loan scheme for automation and modernisation of SMEs under the Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd. “Tekun has channelled loans totalling RM3.1 billion to nearly 300,000 borrowers with loan limits of between RM1,000 and RM100,000.
“In 2015, Tekun will provide additional funds of RM500 million,” he said, adding that from the allocation of RM500 million, RM350 million will be given to the Bumiputera entrepreneurs to provide financing to nearly 33,000 new borrowers. Meanwhile, Indian entrepreneurs, young professional women and armed forces veteran entrepreneurs development programme will each get RM50 million out of the allocation. He also said that to assist SME entrepreneurs from the Chinese community, the government will provide soft loans totalling RM50 million and RM30 million for hawkers and petty traders.