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FMM urges govt to review Stimulus Package occasionally to help large companies

FMM In The News: BERNAMA, KUALA LUMPUR, April 6, 2020 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) wants the government to review the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) from time to time to also assist large corporations.

This is because the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are dependent on them as part of the overall business ecosystem, said president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai.

He said this in a statement welcoming the additional allocation of RM10 billion announced today by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin under the PRIHATIN Package for SMEs (Additional Measures).

The package, among others, include an increase in allocation for the wage subsidy programme from RM5.9 billion to RM13.8 billion and a 25 per cent reduction in foreign worker levy from April to December 2020. 

FMM thanked the government for raising the wage subsidy amount, which surpassed the increase to RM12 billion that it had earlier proposed.

 However, it reiterated its recommendation for the government to remove the condition that companies declare a 50 per cent drop in revenue to qualify for the subsidy.

“We continue to appeal to the government to remove this condition in view that many companies, given the Movement Control Order, have yet to finalise their financial accounts for March 2020,” Soh said.

On the foreign worker levy payment, FMM expressed hope there could be a total suspension of payment for a period of one year starting from April 2020.

FMM, which represents over 10,000 member companies, also reiterated its earlier recommendations for the government such as ordering an interest rate waiver on top of the six-month moratorium on loan repayments and extending the moratorium to cover trade facilities, overdraft and leasing.

It also continued to ask the government to further reduce the interest rate for the RM5 billion Special Relief Facility for SMEs from 3.5 per cent to two per cent. 

“(We request for the government to) lessen lending conditions including collateral requirement. Reduce the bureaucratic red tape involved in accessing the facility, including the supporting documents required and conditions attached,” Soh said.

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