KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — The government gave some 4,000 companies approval to operate during the nationwide movement control order (MCO), International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said today.
The senior minister also said his ministry received around 11,000 applications from companies including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) for exemptions from the MCO.
“The government is taking a very courageous and responsible step to protect the people, ensuring public healthcare and supporting businesses including SMEs to strengthen the nation’s economy.
“These companies must also take this opportunity to enhance their capabilities and abilities in new technologies. This is a great time to learn so that our industry is more prepared post-MCO with the need to build ecosystem as we enter digital economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said on Twitter today.
Azmin also pleaded with SMEs to work in tandem with the government to retain their workers and continue operations after the MCO period.
He said following the economic and health crisis, the government introduced a RM250 billion economic stimulus package — representing 17 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product — which was the biggest in the nation’s history.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced last Friday the People-Centric Economic Stimulus package (Prihatin) to cushion the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
In the package, RM100 billion was allocated to support businesses, including SMEs.
“The government is taking an open approach to hear the views and feedback from SME representatives. The sum in the package is a large one, not just to help the rakyat but to support SMEs because they contribute significantly to the country’s economy,” Azmin said.