KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 – About 40,000 Indian taxi drivers nationwide will benefit from a special loan scheme under the National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional), said its chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Rahim Hassan.
He said under the scheme, about RM12 million would be disbursed annually, whereby each taxi driver could apply for a loan up to RM12,500. The scheme was set up, following a successful pilot project in February which saw over 50 Indian taxi drivers obtaining loans totalling RM1.25 million, he said.
“This special loan scheme applies to all Indian taxi drivers who primarily come under the 12 major associations,” he told reporters after the presentation of cheques worth RM827,500 to 76 Indian taxi drivers in Batu Caves near here.
The event, attended by 7,000 taxi drivers, was officiated by Deputy Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister and MIC vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan.
Also present were Director of Special Secretariat For Empowerment of Indian Entrepreneurs (Seed) Dr A. T. Kumararajah, Malaysian Associated Indian Chambersof Commerce and Industry president Datuk K. Kenneth Eswaran and MIC strategist director S. Vel Paari.
Abdul Rahim said under the scheme, up to 20 per cent of the cost of a new vehicle would be given to existing and new taxi drivers, as well as up to RM8,000 each would be disbursed for conversion to natural gas vehicle. They will also be given up to RM5,000 for the refurbishment of their taxis. This is the first time such a large scheme has been introduced,” he said, adding that taxi drivers could apply for the loans, beginning today.
He said every application would be processed by the Tekun Nasional headquarters within a week, and the loan would be disbursed by Seed which collaborated with Tekun Nasional. Seed is a unit established under the Indian Community Economic Transformation Programme Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department.