KUALA LUMPUR: A total of RM6.08bil has benefited more than a million micro-entrepreneurs through four series of Prihatin Special Grant (GKP) payments since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, saya Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
He said that the latest series of GKP payment, which is GKP 4.0, has involved financial implications of RM1bil, of which the first phase of payments started being credited to recipients’ bank accounts on Tuesday (Sept 21).
“For the GKP 4.0 initiative, more than a million micro SMEs (small and medium enterprises) involving existing recipients of the previous GKP round, as well as new recipients, have started receiving RM500 on Sept 21 through the first phase of payment.
“The second phase of payments, also amounting to RM500, will be in November, bringing the overall GKP 4.0 payment to RM1,000 for each eligible recipient,” he said in a reply to Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (Bersatu-Sabak Bernam) at the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Sept 23).
Mohd Fasiah had asked Tengku Zafrul to explain the implementation of the GKP and the roles of development banks in helping small or micro traders.
Tengku Zafrul said that for Development Financial Institutions (DFIs), among their primary roles were to support the survival of micro entrepreneurs and SMEs by facilitating financing via various loan packages.
“In fact, the Finance Ministry has recently suggested for DFIs to draft more practical solutions such as the use of less burdensome financing criteria so that businesses can recover and operate as soon as possible following the reopening of more economic and social sectors,” he said.
He added that to support government initiatives especially in relation to micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs, DFIs such as Bank Simpanan Nasional, Bank Kerjasama Rakyat, Agrobank and SME Bank have implemented various financing schemes through Bank Negara Malaysia amounting to a total of RM8.1bil.