Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Govt announces RM600m for Bumi entrepreneurs

Bumiputera entrepreneurs are to benefit from a RM600 million additional fund allocation effective from yesterday.

The government has created a RM400 million special fund to be administered by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and RM200 million to be disbursed through Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) and Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB).

“The RM400 million special fund is aimed at strengthening and developing Bumiputera entrepreneurs,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“In addition, we are also giving RM100 million each to Mara and PUNB for their Bumiputera equity programme.”

He was addressing more than 3,000 entrepreneurs at the Bumiputera Entrepreneur Assembly in Kuala Lumpur.

Najib also announced that loan limits under the Tekun Nasional programme will be raised to RM100,000 from its current limit of RM50,000 while the limit for Mara loans are raised to RM1 million from RM500,000 presently.

The creation of the funds was in response to the entrepreneurs’ resolutions derived from workshop and brainstorming sessions by the entrepreneurs.

The resolutions presented to Najib by Khairy Jamaluddin, PUNB chairman, are:

• Government should increase fund allocation and provide integrated financing to develop graduate entrepreneur programmes so they can compete internationally;

• Government should provide a mechanism to facilitate dealings between entrepreneurs and government agencies;

• Government should support efforts to strengthen business networking among Bumiputera entrepreneur communities;

• Government to expand business opportunities for Bumiputera entrepreneurs;

• Better infrastructure to meet the needs of projects and the entrepreneurs with emphasis on upgrading incubators and existing industrial parks.

At the assembly, Najib also announced other incentives to be taken to address the resolutions presented. Delegates were happy with the announcement.

“I am happy with the incentives. I am in the process of applying for a RM500,000 loan from Mara to expand my business but now I can apply for more than that,” said clothing manufacturer Wawasan Glocal Resources director Raja Maziah Raja Noordin in response to Najib’s announcement.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yaakub and International Trade and Industry Ministry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad were also present at the gathering.

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