NCCIM: Govt, banks should consider financial assistance to MCO-affected businesses

A general view of the Kuala Lumpur city centre during the movement control order, March 27, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
A general view of the Kuala Lumpur city centre during the movement control order, March 27, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — The National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) hopes the government and banks would consider providing financial assistance and relief measures for affected businesses during the second movement control order (MCO 2.0).

This is especially applicable to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), small traders, retailers as well as the travel and tourism sectors, said NCCIM president Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap.

In a statement today, he suggested for banks to continue providing more compassionate support in facilitating borrowers’ loan repayment obligations in light of the current situation.

He also urged the government to extend the wage subsidy programme to cover affected sectors, besides tourism and retail as announced in Budget 2021, as well as provide a one-off financial grant to small traders and micro-enterprises.

Ter also hoped that the government would provide rental relief and electricity discount, allow payment of tax balance for assessment years 2020 and 2021 in three monthly instalments, and provide subsidy on the vaccination costs for foreign workers for businesses, especially SMEs.

Meanwhile, he said the implementation of the state of emergency rule must be carefully managed and enforced in a transparent and well-communicated manner to instil confidence and ease investors’ uncertainty.

More importantly, it must be lifted when the emergency decree has served its purpose, as a protracted period of emergency would undermine private investment prospects, he added.

“During the emergency, the most critical considerations should be effective communication and dissemination of information.

“In this regard, the government’s and regulator’s engagement with industries is essential prior to the implementation of public policies and decree of new ordinance so as to minimise disruption to businesses,” he said. — Bernama

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