Budget 2021: Batik manufacturer to use incentives to weather COVID-19 storm
KUALA TERENGGANU,. Batik and songket manufacturers in Terengganu welcomed the 2021 Budget announcement as they stand to receive at least four direct benefits from the allocation including the extension of the Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU).
Noor Arfa Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Wan Mohd Hafiz Wan Mohd Ariffin said he was grateful with the government’s announcement that the PSU will be extended for another three months next year to ease the financial burden of employers.
“Since April, a total of 55 Noor Arfa employees have received benefits through this programme as they have been paid RM1,200 each for the first three consecutive months and then RM600 each for another six months.
“The company will apply to continue enjoy the assistance of this programme as well as other incentives which have been announced by the government under Penjana Kerjaya initiative in the 2021 Budget, including recruiting graduates and those who lost their job to work at Noor Arfa,” he said when met by Bernama here today.
Although the details of the recruitment mechanism among the graduates and retrenched workers have yet to be decided, Wan Mohd Hafiz is confident that the move will help entrepreneurs to keep business going during the challenging post-COVID-19 period.
“Even though sales plummeted to 50 per cent once the moratorium ended in September, we can still survive with government incentives, especially through PSU.
“Noor Arfa’s current focus is to empower online market segment throughout the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and continue to enhance staff skills towards the company’s digital transformation,” he said.
Similar sentiment echoed by Manang Songket Sdn Bhd managing director Wan Manang Wan Awang who expressed his happiness with the government’s move to offer incentives for entrepreneurs such as PSU and Digital Transformation Scheme.
“Under PSU, 11 employees of the company have received the benefits since April. We will also apply for a grant from the Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana).
“Also, with the government’s announcement to encourage employers to recruit graduates and those who lost their job recently, we will try to apply for it as well and will increase allowances to employees if they possess skills in songket weaving,” he said.
Having established Manang Songket since 1990, he admitted that the current economic climate is the most gloomy compared to the previous economic crisis.
“Despite all that, songket is a national heritage which has its own buyer segment. Besides, Terengganu songket produced by our company is always prioritised on the best quality for customer satisfaction.
“Indeed, sales have been affected, but the incentives provided by Terengganu branch of Malaysia Handicraft to help entrepreneurs explore digital markets such as e-kraf bazaar and My Craft Shoppe have been very positive and must be strengthened further,” he said.