KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 ― Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Berhad (Angkasa) hopes that there will be no major changes to the Supply Bill 2021 (Budget 2021) which was passed at the policy-level yesterday.
Angkasa president Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah said any changes made at the committee level would hamper economic recovery planning and the provision of assistance to the people, especially to cooperative members numbering over 6 million.
“We welcome the Parliament’s decision (on Budget 2021) yesterday, because it has been approved at the policy level. In terms of the cooperative movement, we still have confidence that the government can increase the total budget to be channelled to the movement through the Cooperatives Commission of Malaysia (SKM).
“Currently, we find that the budget for the development of cooperative businesses is only RM6.5 million and the budget for financing the cooperative revolving capital fund is RM30 million, this makes the total budget of RM36.5 million for the cooperatives movement. In our opinion, the allocation for this movement is still small compared to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector,” he said during the press conference of the Coopcare Angkasa corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme at the Bandar Baru Sentul Residents’ Association Hall, here, today.
He said if there was no room for additional allocations, he hoped the government would take a small amount from the SME budget to be given to the cooperative movement.
He said the number of people involved in SMEs was only about one million, compared to cooperatives which had a total of 6.1 million members, and that the Budget 2021 policy did not mention the benefits that could be obtained by cooperatives registered with SKM.
“We hope the government can reconsider adding clauses in the SME budget so that cooperatives can also apply for and obtain the benefits,” he said.
Meanwhile, Angkasa today presented assistance in the form of daily necessities to 50 individuals from the B40 group around Bandar Baru Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, whose livelihoods have been affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He the total contribution today worth RM3,500 was through the BA100 Project under the Coopcare Angkasa CSR programme, and to date, more than 37,000 people had benefited from the initiative.
“We want the community to realise that Angkasa is not only involved in economic activities, but at the same time concerned about the community,” he said, adding that Angkasa is the apex body of the national cooperative movement with about 14,000 cooperatives nationwide. ― Bernama