In my speech in parliament yesterday, I urged the government to launch phase 2 of the Geran Khas Prihatin (GKP) initiative.
GKP was initiated as part of the Prihatin Stimulus package. It seeks to assist micro SMEs by providing a one-off RM3,000 grant.
The government should relaunch phase 2 of the scheme with at least RM500 million because of several reasons.
First, the initial allocation for GKP was RM2.1 billion for 700,000 recipients. However, as of 20 Julai 2020, only 545,000 SMEs have been approved, with a total of pay-out of RM1.64 billion. The excess should be reopened for application so as to further benefit 160,000 SMEs.
Second, the initial application period for GKP, from 1 May to 15 May, was too short. In comparison, the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) application was open for more than a month.
Many eligible SMEs have overlooked the scheme, partly also due to ineffective publicity by the government. The movement control order was also still in place during the application period, thus causing difficulties for SMEs to prepare the necessary documents.
I have received several complaints from my constituents that their BPN registration was rejected because they have a business registration.
The GKP is very important for many who depended on their own businesses for income. This includes those operating small business such as food vendors, barbers, and car wash shops. There were among the most affected during the movement control order and many are still struggling to recuperate.