Budget 2022: MKHA hopes conditions for matching grants will be relaxed

Reuters filepix for illustration purpose only

Reuters filepix for illustration purpose only

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 31): The Malaysia Kampungstay and Homestay Association (MKHA) hopes that the eligibility requirements for matching grant applications for repair purposes, involving an allocation of RM30 million in Budget 2022, will be relaxed and be more flexible for homestay owners.

Its president Zohaime Muhamad Sori said the existing restrictive conditions had caused some homestay owners to forego applying.

"For example, where previous grants were concerned, we had to go through bureaucracy that was too rigid which burdened us. So we hope that the eligibility requirements this time can be relaxed.

"However, we really appreciate the government's concern in helping homestay owners provide better services to tourists, especially after almost two years of not being able to operate due to the Covid-19 pandemic," he told Bernama.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz when tabling Budget 2022 in the Dewan Rakyat on Friday (Oct 29) announced a total allocation of RM1.6 billion, to be channeled through seven major initiatives, to help the tourism sector which has been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of them is the allocation of RM30 million for matching grants for the purpose of repairs to homestay owners and 738 budget hotels registered under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

Malaysian Association of Travel Agencies (MATA) president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun, meanwhile, described Budget 2022's allocation for the tourism sector, as meeting all the needs requested by the industry.

"If compared with the previous budget, this time we are quite satisfied with what the government has given," he said.

Malaysia Budget Hotel & Business Association (MyBHA) deputy president Dr Sri Ganesh Michiel hopes the government would be more concerned about the hotel and tourism industry, which was badly affected by Covid-19 as it would take a long time to recover despite the pandemic being controlled in the country.

See more Budget 2022 highlights here.