Mara to defer student and business loans

A special 30% discount on the lease of Mara business premises will also be given to all entrepreneurs. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) will allow students and entrepreneurs affected by the Covid-19 pandemic to defer their loan payments.

The rural development ministry said in a statement today that Mara student borrowers will be given a three-month deferment, provided they did not have any arrears for three months.

It added that this also covered borrowers of its advanced educational loan facility.

Entrepreneurs who have taken Mara loans will be given a six-month deferment provided they do not have any arrears for more than two months.

“A special 30% discount on the lease of Mara business premises will also be given to all entrepreneurs.

“These incentives are subject to stipulated conditions as well as proof that they have been directly affected by the virus outbreak,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, in MANCHESTER, students under Mara’s sponsorship programme overseas have been urged to report their whereabouts to Mara offices overseas and the headquarters if they wished to return home.

Mara deputy director-general (management services) Rohayah Mohd Zain said Mara had taken the initiative to keep online records of students returning to Malaysia.

“Students should report this matter to the Mara offices overseas and Education Sponsorship Division. This is in line with the government’s efforts to combat the Covid-19 outbreak,” Rohayah told Bernama via email.

She said students who had returned to Malaysia should go for their own health examination and should undergo health screening and 14-day quarantine before they are allowed to report to Mara as directed.

Students who are completing their final year studies are advised to quickly book their tickets to return home as some airlines have begun cutting flights.

Asked if Mara would bring back students from overseas, she said it would abide by any directive issued by the foreign ministry.

At the moment, there were 2,932 Mara-sponsored students overseas.

According to Mara, the United Kingdom has the highest number at 902, followed by Australia with 372, India, 312; West Germany, 246; Ireland, 225; and the United States, 222.