KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will increase the Targeted Assistance and Rehabilitation Facility for affected small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by RM2 billion, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today.

The prime minister said the total loan fund for SMEs with a loan rate of as low as 3.5 per cent still available was RM7 billion.

“To help the cash flow of companies and SMEs, banking institutions will continue to offer financing and loan facilities. Banking institution funds have been further strengthened through various BNM-financed SME soft loan facilities with the remaining RM5 billion,” he said when announcing the Pemerkasa Plus assistance package worth RM40 billion tonight.

He added that the rate for the Geran Khas Prihatin (GKP) will be increased by RM500 to RM1,500 to ensure business continuity, especially for SMEs in managing their cash flow.

This means that almost a million SMEs and micro-enterprises will receive RM1,000 in mid-June and another RM500 will be disbursed in July.

“The government still allows trading operations of small traders, street hawkers including micro-enterprises. Therefore, if traders want to obtain micro-credit financing as working capital, a total of RM1.5 billion is provided for this year.

“The capital is provided by Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), Tekun Nasional, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), SME Corp and Yayasan Pembangunan Ekonomi Islam Malaysia (Yapeim) with a financing rate as low as three per cent,” he said.