KUALA LUMPUR: The government has decided to abolish loan interest for micro credit schemes under the Prihatin economic stimulus package.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said RM200 million has been allocated for the purpose.
He said small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will also enjoy rental discounts for business premises similar to those given to government-linked companies such as Mara, Plus, Uda Holdings, among others.
Muhyiddin urged private companies to follow suit, adding that those which offer rental discounts will enjoy additional tax exemption equivalent to the discounted amount (at least 30 per cent of the rental) between April and June.
He also announced a 35 per cent reduction of levy for foreign workers, excluding domestic helpers.
The government also encouraged discussions between employers and their workers to sort out issues concerning paycuts and unpaid leave.
Muhyiddin said the two per cent interest for Bank Simpanan Nasional’s (BSN) micro credit scheme totalling RM500 million would also be abolished.
“The easy loan scheme for micro companies is also extended to National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (Tekun), with maximum loan of RM100,000 per company and zero interest. A total of RM200 million has been allocated for this purpose,” he said.
He however said business owners may only apply for one of the two schemes to allow more enterprises to benefit from the facility.