KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 -- As of Monday, a total of 5,634 applications from small and medium enterprises (SME) have been received for the SME Business Digitalisation Grant initiative, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
Of the total, Saifuddin said RM14.6 million matching grants had been approved to 5,087 eligible SMEs, which involved 90 per cent of the total number of applications received.
“The government through the Ministry of Finance has appointed Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) to channel the grant while SME Bank and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) are its strategic partners.
"MDEC's role in this process is only at the early stage in providing advisory services in the field of digitalisation as well as providing a list of Technology Solutions Providers (TSP) to be selected by SMEs before they submit applications to BSN," he said when replying to a question from Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka) at the Special Chamber session of the Dewan Rakyat sitting here today.
On claim that BSN had provided confusing information on the application process, Saifuddin said BSN had assigned their officers to facilitate the process.
At the same time, Saifuddin said BSN, SME Bank and MDEC are currently in the process of creating a digital application platform that is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2021.
"With the availability of digital application facility, all parties, SMEs and TSPs can find out the status of applications online.
"This will indirectly address the issue of delay in processing this matching grant application, besides it is expected to shorten the approval period to only three days compared to 14 days previously," he said.