The government will complete the distribution of the Keluarga Malaysia Flood Aid (BBKM) before the Eid Festival to about 16,000 micro entrepreneurs affected by the flood disaster nationwide.
Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac) Minister, Tan Sri Noh Omar said currently, there were about 1,300 entrepreneurs who still had not received the one-off aid of RM3,000.
“The aid involving an allocation of RM50 million is managed by Tekun (National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund) with the cooperation of Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia. It’s a one-off aid with no repayment required.”
He said this to reporters after handing out the BBKM cheques to 962 informal and micro entrepreneurs at the Taman Tamadun Islam Convention Centre in Terengganu.
Noh also said that he would be meeting the Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF) and SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp) officials to seek clarification on the delay in giving aid under the SME Emergency Fund 2.0 to the SMEs affected by the floods.
He said the ministry was informed that the interest-free loan of RM100,000 with a one-year moratorium involving an allocation of RM100 million had been approved for over 200 applicants but to date, the loans have not been disbursed.
According to Noh, the conditions for the loan made it difficult and cumbersome for the SMEs to apply.
“I see that the dispensing of the SME loans is a bit slow. SME Corp is the one approving the loans, but the payments are made by MIDF. This loan is (categorised) as an emergency loan for the flood-affected entrepreneurs but I see that the conditions set, especially by MIDF, are for normal and not for an emergency loan.
“I had already called on both (SME Corp and MIDF) and they promised that the matter would be resolved within two weeks. But this is already into the third week and it’s still unresolved. I cannot blame them as they are giving out the loans, but I ask that they help ease the procedures,” said Noh.
In another development, Noh said his ministry will implement several measures to reduce the involvement of middlemen so that goods can be sold at cheaper prices.
These include implementing a contract farming system and setting up distribution centres which will enable cooperatives to offer cheaper goods for consumers.
“With our distribution centres and contract farming, we can reduce the role of middlemen. If we can do that, we can reduce the price of goods, “he said at at the MG Coopmart-Kopbera and Semarak Ramadan Keluarga Malaysia sales launch for the Bera Parliamentary constituency in Pahang on 17 April. The event was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Noh said the initiative was in line with the prime minister’s aspiration to eliminate the role of middlemen when he held the post of Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry previously.