KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has increased the Targeted Assistance and Rehabilitation Facility by RM2 billion and the Automation and Digitisation Facility by RM700 million to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) obtain loans, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said the additional funds would bring the BNM’s total funding facility for SMEs to RM6 billion.

“The targeted moratorium assistance announced by the government through BNM has succeeded in alleviating the burden of 1.4 million individual borrowers and affected SMEs with approvals at up to 95 per cent.

“I would like to emphasise that this assistance is still open to the public,” he said when announcing the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and the Economy (PEMERKASA) today.

Muhyiddin said under the Malaysian Industrial Development Finance (MIDF), RM200 million has been allocated for the financing scheme for the development of automation, digitalisation and the use of green technology.

“MIDF has also agreed to reduce the loan interest rate from five to three per cent for a period of 12 months, starting April 1, 2021,” he added.

According to him, an additional fund of RM50 million for the Smart Automation Grant under the Malaysian Investment Development Authority has also been provided so that more SMEs and mid-level companies would be able to improve operational and manufacturing efficiency through high technology.

Meanwhile, to support the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0), Muhyiddin said an allocation of 50 million would be allocated to the Industry4WRD programme under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

He added that SME Bank will provide financing totalling RM200 million to finance the purchase of machines with a grant incentive of up to 20 per cent on the value of the machines in an effort to encourage SMEs to increase automation, thus reducing dependency on foreign workers. — Bernama