KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry urged tourism players to apply for the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) Tourism Financing (PTF) scheme worth RM1 billion to remain competitive in the new normal during COVID-19 pandemic.
Its minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the scheme was aimed at retaining the capabilities and lifting the competitiveness of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) as well as local micro-companies, besides assisting them which were impacted by the virus.
“SMEs may contact and apply to 12 participating financial institutions including Maybank Islamic Berhad, Bank Simpanan Nasional, Public Bank Berhad, and SME Bank.
“The scheme offers up to RM75,000 in financing for micro-companies and up to RM300,000 for SMEs with up to 3.5 per cent interest per year, for a period of not more than seven years,” she told reporters after networking session with industry players on PTF scheme here, today.
SMEs and micro-companies which fulfil the qualifying criteria of the SME Corp Malaysia, or which are licensed or registered under the ministry in the core tourism and tourism-related sectors are eligible to apply for the financing scheme.
Nancy said the government wants to help struggling industry players and at the same time avoid workers from being laid off due to economic pressures and the extended Movement Control Order (MCO).
“What we want to do as a government is to see more people improve their income. Apart from that, we want the industries to keep their employees (employed) because you can see some people are trying to lay off their staff.
“We don’t want that to happened, that’s why there is the Wage Subsidy programme introduced through the Human Resources Development Programme (HRDF) to assist and make sure people have a job to do,” she said.
The domestic tourism industry according to her, is slowly recuperating from the effect of the pandemic.
“We expect the loss of tourists expenditure for the second half of this year to be lesser from the estimated amount of (RM45 billion) from January to June,” she said.