Govt urged to make it easy for SMEs to apply for wage subsidy

SMALL and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (Samenta) is urging the Federal Government not to impose onerous conditions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises to comply when they apply for the RM700mil fund provided under the Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0.

Samenta national secretary-general S.H. Yeoh said the fund would help the micro-enterprises involved in the tourism and wholesale sectors.

“The Federal Government should expedite the approval process, especially for those who have suffered badly because of the pandemic, ” he said.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the RM700mil wage subsidy package under its RM20bil Pemerkasa economy recovery scheme.

Yeoh also said the RM500mil worth of soft loans would help small companies requiring working capital financing.

“The speed and ease of approval is crucial to enable the small businesses to recuperate fast.

“Orders and sales will help these small businesses get back on their feet.

“Perhaps the Federal Government could explore procuring services and essential necessities from such SMEs, ” he added.

Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), Tekun Nasional, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Corp are among the banks that will disburse the soft loans.

“Grants and subsidies are like a balm to soothe the pain.

“Sales and orders have to roll in to heal the injury for recovery.

“Confidence in the economy is still low.

“Moving ahead, we need to speed up the vaccination programme and allow private hospitals to help out, ” said Yeoh.

He also urged the Federal Government to waive the service tax for tourism-related activities.

Meanwhile, the Free Industrial Zone Penang Companies’ Association (Frepenca) welcomes the government’s proposal to provide tax incentives of up to RM50,000 per company for enrolment in the Safe@Work initiative.

“We support the aim to create a safe and conducive work environment for employees.

“Frepenca’s locally and globally owned members make an important contribution to both employment and Malaysia’s gross domestic product.

“We wish that the proposed initiative can be applied to all manufacturing and manufacturing-related companies.

“The Safe@Work incentive provides timely financial relief to offset the extra costs and expenses of implementing many preventive measures to ensure workers’ safety and business continuity, ” said Frepenca president Dr David Lacey.

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