: The RM10 billion additional stimulus package unveiled today will not only ease the burden of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) but also ensure they fully benefit from all the measures previously announced.
In a special message to announce the PRIHATIN Package for SMEs (Additional Measures) here today, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government had taken several initiatives towards this aim.
The improvements to be implemented include abolishing the two per cent interest rate for the RM500 million micro credit scheme under Bank Simpanan Nasional.
"In addition, the easy financing scheme for micro businesses will be extended to TEKUN Nasional with a maximum loan limit of RM10,000 per company and zero interest rate," he said.
The government is allocating RM200 million fund for this purpose, and each applicant could only choose one of the schemes so that more traders would be able to enjoy the facilities, the prime minister said.
Furthermore, SME retailers would be given either a discount or full exemption on rent payment for premises owned by government-linked companies (GLCs), Muhyiddin said.
Federal government-owned companies such as MARA, Petronas, Permodalan Nasional Bhd, PLUS and UDA Holdings as well as several state GLCs have agreed to give such discounts or waive the rental altogether.
Citing the burden sharing principle, Muhyiddin also called on owners of private premises to offer the same benefits for those renting their premises, at least during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period and for three months after that.
He said building or business space owners who offered rental discounts of at least 30 per cent to the SMEs would enjoy a tax deduction equal to the amount of reduction given for the period from April to June 2020.
The government is also cutting the foreign worker levy payments by 25 per cent for all companies with employees whose work permits end between April 1 and Dec 31, 2020. Domestic workers do not qualify.
The government has also agreed to encourage negotiations between employers and employees on employment terms, including the option of taking a pay cut or unpaid leave during the MCO period.
"I understand the difficulties faced by some employers to retain workers in the current desperate times," Muhyiddin said.
He said the employers and workers could refer to the Labour Department for advice related to any issue to be resolved, and any negotiation was subject to the country's employment laws.
"What is important is that the rights and welfare of both parties must always be protected," he added.
He also said he was aware of the challenges faced by companies in submitting statutory documents to meet the Companies Commission of Malaysia's (SSM) requirements during the MCO period.
Therefore, the government will give an automatic 30-day moratorium from the end of the MCO period for companies to submit the documents to SSM.
The government has also extended the deadline for companies to submit financial statements by three months from the last day of the MCO. This relaxation is given for companies with financial years ending on Sept 30 to Dec 31, 2019.
However, the companies must apply to SSM for the relaxation and no late fee would be charged on the applications, Muhyiddin said.