PUTRAJAYA: The government has allocated RM15.11 billion to implement 270 entrepreneurship programmes for this year, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Zahid who is also the Minister of Rural and Regional Development said the allocation reported through SME Integrated Plan of Action (SMEIPA) 2023/2024 will be used by 479,350 recipients.

He said all the programmes have been planned by various ministries, agencies and state governments.

“I see that the existing SMEIPA reporting needs to be strengthened so that it can be used as the main reference by all stakeholders, especially ministries and agencies that are in the entrepreneurial ecosystem so that there is no more overlap in the implementation of MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) programmes throughout country,“ he said.

Ahmad Zahid said this in a statement after chairing a meeting of the National Entrepreneur and SME Development Council (NESDC) 2/2024.

He said in the same report, an average of 191 entrepreneurship and MSME development programmes were implemented every year with an annual commitment of RM9.6 billion.

“In fact, in 2023 alone, RM15.48 billion has been spent on 258 entrepreneurship and MEMS development programmes,“ said Ahmad Zahid who is also NESDC chairman.

Ahmad Zahid said the meeting also agreed that the MSME Status Registration System should be integrated with other main systems such as PADU (Main Database), SSM Database (Companies Commission of Malaysia) and GovTech Malaysia.

“This is to increase synergy between ministries and agencies and further improve the government’s delivery system, especially in entrepreneurship development,“ he said.

According to him, the MSME Status Registration System is aimed at improving the coordination aspect of the entrepreneur development programme implemented by SME Corp Malaysia, in ensuring that the programmes carried out are more targeted at entrepreneurs and MSME while avoiding leakage.

Commenting further, he said the meeting also confirmed the addition of existing members to strengthen cooperation between ministries in empowering MSME development in the country.

He said the increase in membership involved the secretaries-general of Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (KKDW) and the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) apart from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Development.

“I believe that through the involvement of KKDW and MITI in the membership of NESDC, will enable a more integrated alignment and coordination for all entrepreneur development programmes and MSME in particular to penetrate the global market and expand access to rural areas,“ he said.

He also suggested that all ministries and agencies always ensure that the entrepreneur development agenda is implemented comprehensively and integrated because that action is important to avoid duplication of programmes, create good transparency in government services and reduce wastage of government resources.