Funding initiative to restore cooperative business spirit

Fadilah says Johor SKM’s revenue dropped by 31% to RM630mil last year.

THE Cooperative Commission of Malaysia (SKM) plans to introduce four Cooperative Economic Recovery Intervention Financing programmes over a period of one year from August.

Johor SKM director Fadilah Salim said the initiative was part of the RM20mil allocation granted by the Federal Government’s National People’s Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih).

“The four programmes are the Prihatin Rakyat Cooperative Establishment Programme (KPR), Prihatin Rakyat Cooperative Sales Programme (JKPR), Cooperative Movement Economic Transformation Programme (Transfer) and Online Cooperative Sales and Services Trade Programme (e-Dapat).

“The programmes will enable revenue-affected enterprises to engage in cooperative-based economic activities, such as marketing items via online platforms and increasing product sales at cooperative shops,” he said when contacted in Johor Baru.

He added that all funding programmes would continue for a year to restore the spirit of cooperative business.

The initiative will also be guided by Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry.

“As for Johor SKM, the state government has given its commitment to help nurture the country’s cooperatives through initiatives that were introduced by Johor Entrepreneur Corporation (PUJB).

“One of the initiatives was the Local Economic Development programme that benefitted nine cooperatives in the state.

“It focused on developing the local economy with the help of the community,” said Fadilah, disclosing that a total of RM242,000 allocation was granted to the recipients.

“Iskandar Regional Development Authority has also contributed through the Village Enhancement and Empowerment Programme, which gives RM1.5mil in benefits to the beneficiary cooperatives,” he said.

He also noted that the closure of certain economic sectors had affected the overall revenue of Johor SKM, which saw a drop of 31% to RM630mil last year from RM940mil in 2019.

“SKM has prepared several measures and incentives to revitalise the cooperative movement’s economy in Malaysia, to ensure that it stays relevant and competitive in the face of Covid-19.

“One aspect of the initiative is to encourage the adoption of new standard practices in business and cooperative administration, particularly through the use of digital technology and apps.

“We have also launched the Cooperative Sales and Fair Price programme, which allows 19 wholesale and retail cooperatives to provide basic items to members and the community at a discount of up to 15%,” Fadilah explained.

The initiative — which had been running for two years in a row — provided fair pricing and could help individuals decrease their cost of living, he said.

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