MEDAC to set up special committee to assist SMEs affected by Covid-19

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 15): The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) will set up a special committee to assist small and medium enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Its minister Tan Sri Noh Omar said the ministry will ensure that all assistance and allocations are coordinated via the special committee.

"The committee will be headed by the secretary-general who will cooperate with the entrepreneur associations, and we will work with them so that the assistance provided by the government will reach the target groups," he said.

Noh said this in his reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (UMNO-Lenggong) on the ministry's efforts to ensure that government assistance reaches the groups affected by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, in reply to a supplementary question from Fong Kui Lun (DAP-Bukit Bintang) on the ministry’s efforts to help the SMEs, Noh said the ministry will also introduce virtual offices for entrepreneurs.

"We know that many have had to close their offices and wish to restart their businesses but cannot afford to do so, so this can probably help to ease their burden.

“We will also focus on digital marketing,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) has allocated RM324.3 million to help entrepreneurs affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

To date, MARA has approved business financing amounting to RM311.36 million for 2,966 entrepreneurs under three financing schemes, including the Micro Prihatin Business Financing Scheme.

It has also introduced a moratorium or rescheduling of repayments of MARA's business financing facilities under the National People's Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package, he added.

"This initiative aims to assist MARA entrepreneurs through the deferment of MARA loan repayments for three months after approval is given or rescheduling MARA business financing repayments by extending the financing period up to 36 months," Mahdzir said.

As of July 31, 2021, a total of 7,562 entrepreneurs have applied for the moratorium or rescheduling of loan repayments, with financial implications amounting to RM25.74 million.

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