MIRI (October 9): State government should include micro enterprises in RM 10,000 financial assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) 7.0, said Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary Alan Ling.
Stressing this, he clarified that the request for assistance to SMEs was due to be sent in September but had been postponed until this month, which still takes time.
“Traders registered with the Social Security Organization (Socso) received an e-mail notification on October 1, while the application for financial assistance is open to SMEs from October 7 to 22 to submit their supporting documents.
“The documents also require verification of the original copies before the document request is uploaded during the online request. This makes it difficult for applicants to obtain verification of the original copy, especially at a time when it is risky to travel, ”he said when he met yesterday.
He called for the process to be streamlined as company information could be obtained from government agencies such as Socso and others for verification.
Ling also hoped that the category of beneficiaries could be broadened to include small traders in Sarawak other than SMEs registered with Socso.
“I have received complaints that only SMEs with at least five employees contributing to Socso and annual turnover above RM300,000 are eligible for BKSS 7.0. Business transactions were definitely affected last year and many SMEs may not be able to meet the requirements.
“The state government should be proactive and relax the eligibility requirements to help SMEs experiencing cash flow and other issues brought on by the pandemic.
“Before the pandemic, SMEs did not rely on government help, but now, during such a period of economic recovery, such help is needed so that they can continue to operate,” Ling said.
Ling, who is also secretary of Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak, said the state’s SMEs not only contribute to economic development, but also create employment opportunities for the people.
“If SMEs find it difficult to continue to operate, many people will lose their jobs or their wages will be reduced. This will make the daily life of workers and their families difficult, ”he added.
Due to the delay in the Phase 1 payment to SMEs in the amount of RM 5,000 which should have been paid in September, Ling called on the state government to consider making a one-time payment this month or so. November.