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Budget 2024: SME Bank receives RM1.7 bil allocation


23 October 2023

By AVV


KUALA LUMPUR: SME Bank will continue to play its mandated role with the RM1.7 billion allocation from the recent National Budget 2024 announcement, for new and existing initiatives consisting of financing facilities and capacity-building initiatives.


Datuk Wira (Dr.) Aria Putera Ismail, Group President / Chief Executive Officer SME Bank said, "SME Bank welcomes the 2024 budget presented by the Prime Minister recently, which will allow us to strengthen our focus to further support Malaysian MSMEs. "SME Bank has identified three aspirations namely technology transformation of Industry4WRD, empowerment of MSMEs in the halal industry, and expansion of regional exports.


"These aspirations are in line with the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) which aims to develop Malaysia’s industrial capacity to be more resilient for the long-term and achieve sustainable growth."


He stated that SME Bank will support social enterprises (SEs) through the Juara Lestari Perusahaan Sosial 2.0 initiative, which aims to increase the number of accredited SEs supporting the SEMy2030 programme of the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MECAD).


“A fund of RM1 million has been allocated for this initiative, and CEDAR will provide comprehensive support, including training, business planning coaching, and facilitation grants. Additionally, SEs will have access to financing support from SME Bank for asset acquisition and working capital needs through the Skim Pembiayaan Perusahaan Sosial, with a total allocation of RM15 million.”


In response to the announcement, Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, Datuk Ewon Benedick, emphasises the importance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) nationwide to fully utilise the allocation provided under SME Corp.


Specifically, he highlights the significance of the SME Technology Transformation Fund, Automation Consolidation Fund, and HalalBiz Financing Programme.


"No matter how big the budget is, it will not benefit the target group if it does not reach them. That is why my ministry and I will fully implement the budget that is channeled to the ministry and its agencies,” he stressed.


In order for the target group to fully benefit from the allocated funds, Ewon urged the Ministry’s staff and agencies to facilitate the entrepreneurs' applications throughout the country.


He emphasised that it is crucial for the budget to reach the intended beneficiaries, as its significance lies in its effective implementation.


Ewon stressed the role of the ministry's staff and agencies as facilitators rather than obstacles.


Their aim should be to guide and assist entrepreneurs in their financing applications. If applicants meet some but not all of the criteria, the ministry should provide guidance on how to fulfill the remaining requirements.


He stresses that the criteria are not meant to inconvenience applicants but rather to ensure the efficient and effective utilisation of the allocated budget, minimising any potential leakage or wastage.


He said the focus was on maximising the benefits of the allocated funds by supporting and empowering SMEs nationwide through streamlined and facilitated application processes.

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