KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — The government will increase its grant allocation for the iTEKAD social finance programme by RM6 million to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially the B40 group.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said this will bring the overall iTEKAD aid for this year to RM10 million, up from the RM4 million allocated in Budget 2023.
He said the government is committed to eradicating national poverty and bridging the gap between the rich and the poor.
“When (iTEKAD) has been a success with the Finance Ministry’s initial funding of RM4 million, assuming more (bank participation) and additional funds from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), I will be able to increase the amount from RM4 million to RM10 million for this year,” he said during the iTEKAD collaboration ceremony here today.
iTEKAD is a patron programme created by BNM with the aim of helping low-income micro-entrepreneurs strengthen financial management and business intelligence towards generating continuous income.
Each iTEKAD programme combines the provision of business assets financed by social finance instruments — including donations, social impact investments, zakat and cash waqf — with microfinance, along with structured financial and business training.
The Prime Minister also called on more banking institutions in Malaysia to join the iTEKAD initiative in the near future.
“To date, there are only 11 banks participating in the iTEKAD programme and I hope that in the next few months, the figure will reach 20 banking institutions.
“If not, I will request to see the list of those that have not joined and expand it further in the private sector,” he said.
Anwar said the involvement of banks is vital as the government would be more confident in terms of the programme’s efficiency, frequency and impact with the central bank and other banks joining forces to manage such an initiative.
The Prime Minister said he is also attentive to its level of success due to the low management cost and much lower financial pressure put on the government.
Hence, he said, the involvement of banking players is crucial to make iTEKAD initiative a pillar of success for the Malaysian banking sector.
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