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Published: Wednesday February 25, 2009 MYT 6:55:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday February 25, 2009 MYT 8:07:22 PM

Action plan to help entrepreneurs

KUALA LUMPUR: All agencies under the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Ministry will have an action plan to help entrepreneurs weather the economic crisis.

Minister Datuk Noh Omar said he had directed the 11 agencies under his Ministry to come up with the plan, which would take into account rental rates, loan repayment periods and incentives for good paymasters.

“The agencies have been directed to go down to the ground to see what they can do to help those affected by the economy.

“For example, reducing rental rates if it is too high and extending loan repayment periods, say from five years to eight years.

“Those who pay their loans on time can also be given incentives and opportunities to quickly obtain a second loan,” he said on Wednesday when launching Tekun Nasional and Urban Development Authority (UDA)’s latest business centre at Pertama Complex here.

Noh said having business centres was part of their new approach in reaching out to more budding entrepreneurs.

“We want to improve our delivery system. Instead of getting them to come to us, we want to reach out to them.

“We hope that after this, people will have no excuse that they do not know how to become an entrepreneur.”

The business centre, which would be managed by Tekun Nasional, was the sixth in the country and provided information on loans, business opportunities, networking and income generating activities.

Noh said they were also planning to have a retail bridge between the Mara (Majlis Amanah Rakyat) and UDA building in Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman to encourage more bumiputra entrepreneurs in the area.

“We are waiting for DBKL’s (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) approval before we can go ahead with the bridge, which would have business lots on both sides. The bridge will also provide easier access to those who need to go to both the Mara and UDA buildings,” he said.

Noh said he would be meeting Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Thursday to seek an additional RM300mil, of which RM150mil would be for Tekun, Mara (RM100mil) and Giat Mara (RM50mil) to help entrepreneurs and those who had lost their jobs.

“We need more allocation. Tekun gave out RM300mil in loans last year compared with RM100mil in 2007. About RM92mil was given out last January and we expect the figure to increase,” he added.

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