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Friday June 24, 2011

Longer loan repayment period for Tukar grocers

KUALA LUMPUR: The loan repayment period for grocers under the Small Retailer Transformation Programme (Tukar) has been more than doubled from seven years to 15 years up.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the ministry wanted more grocers to join the Tukar programme.

“The Government has agreed to extend the Tukar loan repayment period to reduce the burden on grocers when paying back their monthly instalments.

“Hopefully, this will encourage more to sign up for the programme,” he said here yesterday after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding by four more private companies joining as consultants for Tukar.

Under the Tukar programme, Bank Rakyat will provide loans ranging from RM20,000 to RM60,000 to participating grocers.

Ismail Sabri said grocers who had already applied for loans could discuss with Bank Rakyat to retroactively extend their loan repayment period.

He said it was still too early to tell if those given loans were keeping up with their repayments.

Under the 10-year transformation programme, the Government aims to modernise traditional grocers nationwide with the aid of consultants to increase the country's gross national income and create more jobs.

Its implementation is expected to contribute RM5.56bil to the Gross National Income and create 51,540 job opportunities by 2020.

As of June 23, the ministry had identified 1,705 small retailers who met the criteria for participation in Tukar, but there were only 300 takers so far.

Ismail Sabri said that of the 300 grocers who had applied for loans under Tukar, 163 had qualified while the rest were still under review.

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