KUALA LUMPUR: The government unveiled an additional RM10 billion assistance package targeted at helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by the movement control order (MCO) and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The additional stimulus package includes expanded employees’ subsidies, a special grant for micro SMEs, waiver of interest rates for the Micro Credit Scheme and a levy cut on foreign workers.
The government also announced a rental exemption or discounts for SMEs operating on premises owned by government-linked companies, and tax breaks for landlords that give rental discounts or exemptions.
This comes on the heels of SMEs, large-scale manufacturers and chambers of commerce voicing concerns that the initial Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package was too centred on salaried workers and the low-income group, while not enough was being done for the business community.
In response to the newly announced stimulus, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) lauded the government’s move to help alleviate the wage cost burden for SMEs and allowing for leniency for businesses to negotiate on employment terms, as well as supportive measures introduced for micro enterprises.
Despite this, the FMM, in a statement, said it will still appeal to the government to remove the wage subsidy qualification conditions including a 50% reduction in revenue and a RM4,000 wage ceiling subsidy, since many companies are unable to finalise their financial accounts for March 2020…