Interest-free loans soon for petty traders

PHOTO: Interest-free loans soon for petty traders

PUTRAJAYA - Hawkers and petty traders may enjoy interest-free loans to expand their businesses from January next year, said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He added that his ministry had discussed with the Public-Private Cooperation Unit (Ukas) the possibility of offering zero-interest loans to small businesses under the Government's 2013 Micro-Credit Scheme.

"Ukas has agreed in principle to the plan to give out the loans at 0 per cent interest.

"This has been documented in the minutes of our meeting with them, but for now it remains unofficial," he said after launching the National Hawkers and Petty Traders Convention 2012 here yesterday.

A total of RM50 million (S$20 million) has been allocated for 2013 under the scheme to provide loans ranging from RM5,000 up to RM50,000 to small business owners registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia.

Ismail said the scheme aims to provide hawkers and petty traders help in either increasing their working capital or expanding their businesses, for example by upgrading their stalls or buying more equipment.