KUALA LUMPUR (July 22): The Ministry of Finance (MoF) today launched the National Supply Chain Finance Platform, dubbed as "JanaNiaga", with an aim to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in maintaining a healthy cash flow while also limiting credit risk to financiers or financial institutions in Malaysia.
The programme is a national initiative by the ministry to help SMEs finance their dealings with public institutions and government-linked companies (GLCs), as part of the government's efforts to alleviate economic struggles during the ongoing pandemic.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said today the JanaNiaga platform will be led by the Export-Import Bank of Malaysia (EXIM Bank), with the involvement of several financial institutions in Malaysia, as previously announced during Budget 2021 in November last year. To kick start the programme, an allocation of RM300 million has been provided by EXIM Bank to mobilize JanaNiaga.
"Platforms such as JanaNiaga provide huge benefits to the ecosystem and have been widely adopted by economic sectors in other countries. The use of this platform supports long-term economic recovery and is in line with the government's strategy in prioritizing automation and digitization as well as the use of new technologies to accelerate the transformation towards a high-income economy," Tengku Zafrul said in a speech today at the launch.
He noted that the initial RM300 million allocation by EXIM Bank is expected to grow up to RM1.2 billion with additional allocation from other financial institutions that will participate in JanaNiaga in phases. With an average invoice period of 90 days, this amount will contribute RM4.8 billion a year in cash flow liquidity for SMEs, he added.
With the support of GLCs, Tengku Zafrul said SME suppliers will enjoy financing rates as low as 3.5% per annum for a financing margin of 100%, much lower than regular rates. Funding applications are also to be made online, allowing each application to be approved within 24 hours.
"For this early stage, JanaNiaga will be implemented with Petronas and Telekom Malaysia Bhd. With that, I would like to thank Petronas and also Telekom Malaysia for their willingness to work together to make the JanaNiaga platform a success," he said.
"The government is doing all this because SMEs are a very important component of the Malaysian economy... With the unemployment rate declining to 4.5% as of May 2021, from 5.3% in May 2020, the government must also take steps to continue to support SMEs to protect employment and ensure they continue to contribute to the national economy," Tengku Zafrul added.