SEED: We have no reason to hide figures

Responding to a call from an Indian business group, the secretariat explains the loans given out to Indian businesses.

G Lavendran, FMT

The Special Secretariat for Empowerment of Indian Entrepreneurs (SEED) today said that people should first dismiss the misconception that it is a MIC initiative.

SEED director AT Kumararajah explained that the secretariat was set up by the Prime Minister’s Department to assist in giving out the RM180 million allocated for the Indian community.

He added that G Palanivel was playing his role in SEED as a cabinet minister and not as the president of MIC.

Kumararajah claimed that SEED had data since August 2012 up until Dec 6, 2012 with regard to the number of applicants, the amount of loans dispersed and the applicants who had been rejected.

“It is a work-in-progress, we have no reason to hide the figures. At the same time, it’s not easy to collect data from the 13 banks affiliated with this programme and all its branches from around

Malaysia. We are getting there,” he said.

The SEED director was responding to the Malaysian Indian Business Association (Miba) which demanded MIC to reveal the figures pertaining to the funds allocated for Indian businesses.

According to Kumararajah, there had been 932 applications as of December 20 this year. Out of which, 643 had been approved and dispersed and 20 applications rejected.

The balance 269 applications were still being processed but 57 of them were already lined up out of which, 28 almost completed.

He said that out of the total RM2.43 billion allocated by the government for businesses, RM180 million was allocated specifically for the Indians.

This amount, he added, was broken down and parked under several other programmes and financial institutions – RM10 million to Malaysian Industrial Development Finance (MIDF), RM10 million to Small and Medium Enterprises Corporation Malaysia (SME), RM30 million to Tekun and the remaining RM130 million to banks.

Responding to another point raised by Miba, Kumararajah said: “The funds given out by banks is indeed using the Islamic concept. People have to realise that the Islamic concept is merely a funding mechanism and has proved to be one of the fastest growing mechanisms.”

“There is no difference between normal loans and that of the Islamic concept, the only thing is the ‘halal’ factor. Still, there is leniency ranging from 15%-20% of the business being of ‘non-halal’ in nature,” he added.

Creating awareness

Explaining further on the figures, Kumararajah said RM24.37 million had been given out so far to the above mentioned 643 approvals – RM3 million via SME, RM9.9 million via MIDF, RM9 million via Tekun and RM13.8 million via banks.

“We have the figures and just need time to collect the precise data. Once that is complete, we would definitely publish the details,” he told FMT.