Interim Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir went ahead an announced the Economic Stimulus Package that could pull Malaysia through this trying times affecting the global economy. With the Covid-19 pandemic and the slump in market sentiment, the RM20 billion stimulus package is most welcome by the business community.
Allocation of the RM20 million to Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation for the Perkhidmatan e- Dagang Setempat (PeDAS) programme will enable the transformation of the Pusat Internet Desa (PID) into an ecommerce hub is seen as a boost to further galvanize digital transformation amongst MSMEs in rural areas.
PeDAS is an initiative specifically designed to help rural MSMEs to market their products through e-commerce platforms. The initiative is to ease the burden of entrepreneurs who do not have an integrated support system or complete knowledge of digital marketing, branding, certification and so on, to make
their e-commerce business successful. Currently, PeDAS is available at PIDs which serve as one-stop centres to offer opportunities and space for MSMEs to hone their skills in e-commerce.
In addition there is also grants of RM1,000 to 10,000 being allocated for local entrepreneurs to promote the sales of their products on e-commerce platforms. Separately to encourage the adoption of digitalisation by SME’s, Bank Negara Malaysia will be providing an SME Automation and Digitalisation Facility of RM300 million at an interest cost of 3.75% and the announcement of providing accelerated capital allowances over a two-year period on expenses incurred on machinery and equipment including ICT. These initiatives are viewed as essential to transform the current state of operation by these companies from labour intensive to a more high skill, high tech operations.
The government will also push more promotion for the tourism industry through digital adoption, soon Malaysians will be eligible to receive digital vouchers for domestic tourism of up to RM100 per person for domestic flights, rails and hotel accommodation. For upskilling talents, the government will allocate RM50 million to subsidise short courses in digital skills and highly skilled courses that will benefit 100,000 Malaysians.
The Economic Stimulus Package 2020 aimed to stimulate Malaysia’s economy and mitigate any adverse repercussions arising from the COVID-19 outbreak and other external uncertainties.