The scheme is aimed at helping local entrepreneurs, specifically those in Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), to gain access to financial loans. File Photo

KUCHING: The state government has approved an allocation of RM30 million for the Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme.

Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneurs Development Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said that the scheme would help local entrepreneurs, specifically those in Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), to gain access to financial loans.

He added that the scheme would be open to applicants of all races from between 18 to 65-years-old.

“We have suggested the following fees through this scheme: for loans of RM1,000 to RM10,000, it is a zero-interest rate but there will be a management cost of two per cent which will be a one-off payment for borrowers.

“For loans of RM5,000 to RM50,000, there is no management cost but borrowers will be charged with a declining interest of four per cent,” Awang Tengah said in a press conference after his ministerial winding up speech.

Awang Tengah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, added that the scheme was aimed at those from the B40 group and SME entrepreneurs to provide them capital or funds to purchase machinery and tools.

“For the RM1,000 to RM10,000 loan, no guarantor is needed whereas for the RM5,000 to RM50,000 loan, a person for reference is required. The loan period is one to three years for the RM1,000 to RM10,000 loan and one to five years for RM5,000 to RM50,000 loan.

“Licences required are permits from local authorities or department agencies, business registrations from the Inland Revenue Board, Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) or other relevant licences,” Awang Tengah said, adding that the processing period for the scheme, whether a loan was approved or not, would be no more than four working days.

He said that they would try to work together with banks and other financial institutions on this scheme.

“We have talked with Agrobank and we are in the process of talking to other banks and financial institutions,” Awang Tengah said.