Distribution of funds must be fair and transparent, say SMEs

The Star

25 February 2023

Distribution of funds must be fair and transparent, say SMEs

JOHOR BARU: The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are hoping the disbursement of financial allocation under Budget 2023 will be done in a fair and transparent manner.

Johor Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar (pic) said Bank Negara Malaysia should initiate briefing sessions with business organisations.

“These sessions are important as they will give us a clearer picture of how SMEs can benefit from the allocation,’’ he said when contacted.

Sivakumar said business organisations would be able to assist financial institutions in disbursing the allocation as they have membership records.

“If the RM10bil allocation for SMEs proves to be successful, the government could consider pumping in more money under the mid-term review,’’ he said.

Johor South SME Association adviser Teh Kee Sin said the RM10bil would help SMEs move forward after facing difficulties over the past three years as a result of the pandemic.

“Many of us in the non-essential services were struggling as we were not able to operate due to the movement control orders imposed by the government,’’ he said.

Teh said with SMEs now back on their feet, most of them have plans to expand their operations but are having problems getting loans from financial institutions.

“They should have some peace of mind as Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan is ready to guarantee up to RM20bil for SMEs involved in high-tech industries, agriculture and manufacturing,’’ he said.

Teh noted that there are 1.5 million SMEs nationwide, with 60% of the 13 million contributors to the Employees Provident Fund being employed by these enterprises.

Johor Indian Petty Traders and Small Business Association chairman D. Ravindran hopes the government would provide details on the RM300mil allocation to assist micro-enterprises, women and youth in the Indian community.

“While the allocation is good, we need to have a quota system to ensure Indians are not left out,’’ he said.

Ravindran said when the Johor government announced financial assistance of between RM5,000 and RM10,000 for micro-enterprises in the state, the money was gone within a month.

“I called the bank headquarters in Kuala Lumpur to verify whether it was true and was told by the officer on the other line that it was,” he added.

Ravindran suggested that 70% of petty traders in the state be given priority to receive the RM300mil allocation with 30% going to new start-ups.


(Web source: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2023/02/25/distribution-of-funds-must-be-fair-and-transparent-say-smes)