February 15 2006
Interest rates in the country will remain stable, with no unduly volatile movement expected this year, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said.
Noting that the Government never forecasts interest rates, he said "stable" does not mean that interest rates will not go higher or lower.
"Stable means that it will not become unduly volatile, not too high or too low compared to the present level.
"There could be marginal changes but in the big scheme of things, it is not going to be affected," he told reporters after Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB) National Entrepreneur Networking 2006 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
On Bumiputera entrepreneurs, Nor Mohamed said the PROSPER scheme, which was introduced in 2000 and managed by PUNB, has managed to produce quite a number of Bumiputera entrepreneurs, particularly in the retail sector.
"I am proud to say that the PROSPER scheme has been able to produced more dynamic and resilient Bumiputera entrepreneurs, especially in retail business," he said.
In the last five years of its introduction, he said, PUNB had approved more than 900 businesses valued at RM240 million, of which 637 businesses are still in operation.
"They have expanded the scope of their retail businesses to food catering, services, supporting industry, car sales, furniture and home decorators," he said.
In view of the success of PROSPER, he said the government has allocated an additional RM40 million for wholesale financing.
"Government-linked companies are also encouraged to assist the Bumiputera entrepreneurs to participate in the wholesale business as this would also benefit them in terms of getting adequate and competitive price of materials," he said.