PUTRAJAYA, June 17 — The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has proposed that the terms of loans from the Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund and Special Tourism Fund which are under the SME Bank and Bank Pembangunan be made more flexible.
Its Minister, Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said that this was following discontentments and complaints from applicants in the tourism industry who failed to obtain loans from the banks involved.
He said that many were said to be unable to meet the tight conditions fixed by the loan givers and were finding it difficult to obtain loans especially Bumiputra.
‘’The purpose in the setting up of the funds is to help and provide experience as entrepreneurs to Bumiputra and non-Bumiputra but the conditions of loan is seen as curbing the aspiration,’’ he said in a statement today.
The government had allocated a fund of RM500 million through the Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund under SME bank which was aimed at developing the tourism industry among the small and medium industry entreprenuers.
For the Special Tourism Fund under Bank Pembangunan, the government had allocated over RM500 million to help entrepreneurs who wanted to build and expand tourism products such as hotel, chalet, resort and other accommodation facilities.
Mohamaddin said he would hold discussions with the Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng to look at the matter soon.
‘’If possible, we want the flexibility on the conditions can be made because the final say can only be made by the Ministry of Finance and Bank Negara,’’ he said.
He said that the tourism industry had proven to be an income earner to the country when it recorded an increase in tourists’ spending of RM21.4 billion in the first quarter of this year compared to RM18.3 billion in the same period last year.
‘’The nation needs more industry players to spur the national economy and the promises to boost the economy of Bumiputra must be realised,’’ he added. — Bernama