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MATA wants MOTAC to manage tourism sector financing scheme directly

16 Oct 2020 / 17:15 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association Tour Agency (MATA) has urged the government to allow the RM1 billion PENJANA Tourism Financing (PTF) facility to be directly administered by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC).

President Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun said the tourism association proposed that the scheme be taken back from the financial institutions due to their failure to heed the government’s call to assist in preserving the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro SMEs’ capability and enabling the enterprises to boost their competitiveness in anticipation of the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

“To-date, not even one per cent of the scheme’s amount has been approved by the financial institutions,” he said in a statement today.

The PTF facility, provided through 12 local financial institutions, was established to finance the transformation initiatives by SMEs in the tourism sector to enable them to be viable and competitive in the new normal.

This facility offers working capital loans of up to RM300,000 to eligible SMEs with an interest rate of 3.5 per cent per annum and a repayment period of up to seven years.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz recently disclosed that as of Sept 25, a total of 303 SMEs had applied for this assistance and a total of RM17.5 million had been approved, which would benefit 90 SMEs.

Mohd Khalid said some of MATA’s members had complained that their applications for the funding facility were rejected due to rigid conditions set by the financial institutions.

“As a result, the government’s intention to help SMEs and micro-enterprises is failing and causing the tourism industry’s outlook to remain bleak.

“Banks need not implement the regular standard operating procedures in approving applications because the industry’s situation is not very good currently,” he said.

He noted that when the economic environment was good, the tourism industry was a significant contributor to the Gross Domestic Product, which was the reason the government had introduced the facility.

“But the banks are making it difficult (for the SMEs), even more so now that the blanket moratorium has ended,“ he said. - Bernama

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