Published: Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 7:46:51 AM
|Hafsah: ‘These (programmes) will ... raise the contribution of SMEs to |
41% of GDP by 2020.’
SME Corp chief executive officer Datuk Hafsah Hashim hails the 13 specific programmes for SME development in Budget 2014, with funding amounting to RM2.6bil including funds from the private sector.
Some of the key initiatives include establishment of the National Entrepreneur Development Office under the National Strategy Unit, Finance Ministry. The office will plan and coordinate all activities related to entrepreneurship.
Apart from that, as a follow-up to the recent 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit, theGlobal Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) will be established, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak earlier.
“These will contribute towards achieving the goals of the SME Masterplan and raise the contribution of SMEs to 41% of GDP by 2020,” she said.
The Government is allocating RM50mil for this one-stop centre which consists of an integrated database related to entrepreneurs, intellectual property registration and patenting and funding facilities, among others. Malaysian Retailer-Chains Association (MRCA) president Datuk Nelson Kwok said all these were good efforts to promote entrepreneurship and it was important to prevent overlapping of responsibilites. “It is best if we can have just one body on SME-related matters so resources could be focused on the SMEs,” he said.
On the effort to reduce graduate unemployment, the Government is allocating RM50mil under the Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund, managed by SME Bank. The fund will provide soft loans of up to RM500,000 at an interest rate of 4%.
A sum of RM6bil is allocated to implement high value-added and commercially-viable agriculture programmes. Kwok said this showed that Government was serious in building the local agriculture industry.
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon said the proposed 6% GST rate would impose a heavy compliance burden on manufacturers especially the SMEs.
“This is higher than anticipated and manufacturers request for this rate to be maintained for not less than five years from the date of implementation,” he said.
To increase bumiputera equity ownership, SME Bank will also establish Bumiputera Equity Fund (EquiBumi). RM300mil is allocated to provide loans to credible bumiputera companies to take over listed companies or companies with potential to be listed on Bursa Malaysia.