MELAKA: The government has allocated RM21 million for implementing the Urban Community Economic Empowerment Programme (PEKB) with a target of 2,000 participants this year, said Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib.

He said of this amount, RM11 million was approved under the 12th Malaysia Plan development budget and RM10 million was from the budget of the Strategic Programme for Empowering the People and Economy (PEMERKASA).

He said PEKB was aimed at enhancing the skills of target B40 groups to enable them to be involved in business ventures that can generate a higher income to improve their quality of life and move them out of poverty.

“PEKB was quite affected by the Covid-19 pandemic but Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), after the vaccination rate surpassed 90 percent and positive cases dropped, this programme was allowed to resume this October.

“We are now looking for participants who are keen to upgrade their standard of living by undergoing training to enhance their existing skills and talent,” he told reporters after closing the PEKB Phase Two Year 2021 programme here today.

Ismail said 13,491 participants had been trained since 2013 in 14 areas of skilled work offered by 30 non-governmental organisations, including food and beverage, retail and marketing, tailoring, and design and printing. — Bernama