KUALA LUMPUR (April 22): The government had approved 7,387 applications for financing totalling RM1.38 billion under the Penjana Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Financing programme as of April 9, 2021.

In the 50th Inter-Agencies Economic Stimulus Implementation and Coordination Unit (Laksana) report released today, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the government had allocated RM2 billion under this programme which prioritised SMEs that had never obtained bank loans previously.

During the period, he said 322,177 employers and 2.64 million employees benefited from the Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU) 1.0 under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin) and Penjana.

The minister said the approved wage subsidy applications under PSU 1.0 reached RM12.87 billion.

Meanwhile, for PSU 2.0, he said a total of RM1.14 billion had been channelled to 73,210 employers as of April 9 under the Prihatin Supplementary Initiative Package (Kita Prihatin) to enable them to continue operating and retain 631,801 employees.

“As for the Reskilling and Upskilling Programme, a total of 132,403 participants have successfully gained employment through the programme.

“Key industries and sectors that are hiring include the manufacturing sector as well as wholesale and retail trade,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul said to support technical and digital adoption by SMEs and mid-tier companies, a total of RM62.5 million had been channelled to 13,859 businesses in the form of grants and loans for subscription to digitalisation services as of April 9.

As for other initiatives, such as the Frontliners Allowance, he said a total of RM651.15 million had been channelled based on 1.84 million claims from doctors, nurses and other medical personnel directly involved in managing and curbing the Covid-19 pandemic.

This special allowance was also extended to military personnel, police, the customs, immigration, firefighters, members of the Civil Defence Force and People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) members directly involved in implementing the movement control order (MCO).

“I would like to emphasise that the government will continue to focus on Malaysia’s economic recovery.

“For this year, the people and the business sector will continue to be supported under Budget 2021 to ensure an economic recovery,” said Tengku Zafrul.

Additionally, to help the people and businesses during MCO 2.0 and the severe flood situation, the government also launched the RM15 billion Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection Assistance Package (PERMAI) in January.