10/07/2024 04:58 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s strong commitment to addressing issues and the future direction of the Indian community has been consistently evident, always prioritising the success and advancement of all related programmes.

 Deputy Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Ramanan Ramakrishnan said the prime minister wants to ‘strengthen and enhance’ all programmes concerning the Indian community. 

“And so, we have launched programmes such as the SPUMI Goes Big programme with an additional RM30 million, the Empowerment of Indian Women through Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia with an additional RM50 million, and the latest initiative, BRIEF-I through Bank Rakyat with RM50 million.

“The Unity Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has allocated an additional RM130 million overall for the Indian community in the country over the past four months alone,” he told Bernama today.

Ramanan said this includes an additional RM50 million for the Bank Rakyat Indian Entrepreneur Financing-i (BRIEF-i) Programme and RM30 million for the SPUMI Empowerment Financing Scheme (SPUMI Goes Big) under the National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (TEKUN).

The government has also allocated RM50 million for the Special Fund for the Empowerment of Indian Women (PENN) under Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM), he said. 

“From 2008 until 2024, SPUMI never saw an increase in funding. However, today the government has allocated RM60 million (overall) for SPUMI.

“Previously, the fund for Indian women entrepreneurs (PENN) was only RM20 million, but today the MADANI Government has increased it to RM70 million, an additional RM50 million,” he said.

Ramanan said only the Unity Government and the prime minister have demonstrated such concern and provided substantial allocations to the Indian community, compared to previous administrations.

In this regard, he urged the Indian community to fully utilise the allocations to ensure no group is left behind.

He also said that 25,559 Indian community entrepreneurs have received funding under the SPUMI scheme, amounting to RM45.7 million nationwide from 2008 to May 2024.

As for the SPUMI Goes Big scheme, he said 67 applications worth RM2.78 million out of 106 applications received since its launch on April 3 have been approved, while 30 more applications are currently being processed.

“All these scheme improvements are steps to help improve the living standards of the people, thereby realising the country's socioeconomic transformation,” he said, adding that the Unity Government is now implementing significant changes for the Indian community with various initiatives and programmes lined up. 

He said the prime minister wants the future of the Indian community, especially in the economic sector, to be further empowered, and the government through the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry (KUSKOP) is prioritising financial assistance programmes.

“Every time a programme is planned, I seek support from KUSKOP Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick before presenting it to the Prime Minister for approval. He always supports and helps,” he said.

Ramanan, who is also Sungai Buloh MP and Deputy Chief Information Officer 1 of PKR, criticised a group of individuals who 'exploit' the Indian community as a political tool for their desperate political interests.

He advised the Indian community not to be easily 'deceived' by the fanatical political games filled with slander on social media that are becoming increasingly rampant, and to seek accurate information.



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