13th July, 2012
KOTA KINABALU: Small traders and hawkers in Sabah along with their counterparts in other parts of the country can look forward to a special fund to help them specifically in the form of special and soft loans.
Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-operative and Consumerism, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the ministry will make such a proposal to the federal government.
“There are already funds available for small traders and hawkers such as Tekun Nasional but it does not focus on just that group alone,” he said at a press conference here yesterday.
He was speaking after a gathering between the minister and associations of small traders and hawkers in Sabah and Labuan at the Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu Hotel.
“Just like the SME Bank which is specifically for the small and medium industries and Agro Bank for agriculture, small traders and hawkers also want a special fund set up for them,” he said while adding that the matter was still being proposed and will be forwarded to the government soon.
Meanwhile, he also stated that small traders and hawkers will be protected by the cluster insurance scheme. A proposal on the matter will be submitted to the cabinet in two weeks’ time.
The Ministry is therefore waiting for a list of names of small traders and hawkers in Sabah who have yet to be registered with the Inland Revenue Board or local authorities.
“We want to make sure no names are omitted from the cluster insurance when it is announced later,” said Ismail Sabri.
Matters concerning the group have been placed under the ministry following an announcement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last May.
A special unit has been formed under the Business Development Division of the ministry to plan and implement programmes for small traders and hawkers in the country.