Are the SMEs doing fine with Prihatin Tambahan?
The small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) raised their concerns of not receiving much financial aid from the Prihatin Rakyat economic stimulus package.
Hence, an additional RM10 billion was added into the initiative to primarily focus on the SME, known as Prihatin Tambahan.
Since then, the media exposure of the SMEs amidst the Covid-19 pandemic had soothed down but remained consistent on the media.
The main concern among the SMEs are their cashflow amidst the movement control (MCO).
Most of the SMEs in the country were forced to temporarily shut down, leading them to not making any sales.
Therefore, the highlight from the Prihatin Tambahan is its salary subsidy, which is a direct fiscal injection from the government to the SMEs.
Still, numerous SMEs were reported to be running out of cash by the end of April 2020.
SME Association president Datuk Michael Kang stated that some employers have started to ask its employees to take unpaid leave during the MCO.
Up to RM1,200 salary subsidy was reported to be not enough to keep many SMEs in the country running.
The SMEs are still suffering losses from not being able to makes sales, while bearing the operating cost.
Meanwhile, there were roughly 500,000 SMEs registered under PERKESO.
However, it was reported that less than half of the employers applied for the salary subsidy programme.
They were reluctant in applying due to the rules of not being able to fire their employees for the next six months or asking them to take unpaid leave.
This indicate that the risk of high unemployment rate still glooms over Malaysia as majority of the SMEs prefer the option to letting go their employees over the salary subsidy.