Government To Provide Initial RM25 Mln Allocation ... (Bernama Online, 18 Januari 2008)
The government will provide an initial allocation of RM25 million to Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB) for a scheme enabling entrepreneurs to rent shophouses to carry out businesses, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said today.
Known as "Skim PROSPER", the programme is aimed at helping Bumiputera entrepreneurs to venture into retail businesses in new housing areas.
Nor Mohamed said the allocation will help to overcome the problem faced by PUNB in finding suitable business premises, adding that almost 90 percent of the premises under the scheme was rented.
"The fund will be used by PUNB to get suitable premises to be rented out at a reasonable rate to entrepreneurs," he said at the launch of the Al-Ijarah Thumma Al-Bai motorcycle scheme by Syarikat Azmi & Noor Niaga Holdings Sdn Bhd here.
Nor Mohamed said the government will ensure that entrepreneurs under the scheme are not burdened by high repayment rate.
"Should any problem arise, we will restructure the scheme so that they can focus on running their businesses," he said.
Nor Mohamed said the scheme has helped to launch 1,038 businesses, achieving sales of RM750 million annually, and estimated to provide employment for 6,000.
He said the sectors involved were mainly automotive and car service centres, bookstores, furniture and electrical products, petrol stations and petroleum products, computer shops and jewellery.
Nor Mohamed also announced an initial allocation of RM10 million for Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) to help the poor community in towns to start small businesses.
He said AIM had so far provided loans totalling RM2.3 billion to small traders, achieving a loan repayment record of 97 percent.
Meanwhile, when asked whether the Malaysian economy will be affected should the US economy plunge into recession this year, Nor Mohamed said: "We are resilient and flexible enough to manage the economy to overcome any crisis, even there is a recession in the United States."
He said the country has strong economic resilience as its source of growth was not dependent only on exports.
"Our exports to the US could be slightly affected. But the main source of our growth is domestic consumption that is growing about 14.5 percent a year, investment also growing at around 13 percent, middle class group has increased and poverty down," he added.
Nor Mohamed said even with a recession in the US, the Asean economy together with China and India are growing.
"We will able to benefit," he said.