An Indian business association says the fund will help Indians start up a business and help existing entrepreneuers to expand their trade.
MIBA’s president P Sivakumar said the fund would help Indians, who intend to start up small-scale businesses, to get financial assistance through a micro-credit scheme.
From his estimate, Sivakumar said about 20,000 Indians had plans to either start a business of their own or expand their existing business, and said they were in need of financial assistance.
“The fund can be channelled through Tekun and Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), which are successful in providing loans to those involved in informal sectors like petty traders,” he said.
The business leader said that he had already submitted a memorandum on the matter to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s special officer P Ravin, early this month.
Although the government had allocated RM100 million for Indians under the Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia Scheme, Sivakumar said the fund was meant for only Indian women entrepreneuers.
“Even then, it’s a group scheme where the loan is only given if the women entrepreneuers can group themselves into five.
“What if a lady just wants to start a small flower stall? How is she to get five people to work with her? Plus, our population is small and segregated which makes it tough to for us to group together,” he added.
He also said that the application process with Amanah Ikhtiar was tough and if one woman defaults on her loan, the rest had to chip in for the defaulter.
Hire more non-Malay staff
On BSN, Sivakumar commended the bank for being helpful to entrepreneurs, irrespective of their racial background.
“I personally had some assistance from BSN and they were quite helpful,” he said.
However, he urged the bank to hire more non-Malay staff as front desk officers and credit officers in order to increase the success rate of all Malaysians to secure a business loan.