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Call for SME Masterplan custodian [ 19-07-2012 ]

PETALING JAYA: The National SME Development Council (NSDC) has called for a single agency to be the custodian of the SME Masterplan.

The NSDC said the agency should be accountable for ensuring the implementation of the plan and tracking the progress of the master plan's objectives.

“The role of SME Corp Malaysia has to be further strengthened, empowered and elevated to take on the lead role to implement the master plan,” it said, noting that “this may require some organisational restructuring and changes to the co-ordination mechanism to allow greater empowerment for the agency to function effectively in executing the plan.”

NSDC said SME Corp would need to be given sufficient authority and resources and have a more active role in the budgetary decision on SME development. Among the measures SME Corp should take is reviewing existing programmes with the ministries and agencies to rationalise those that overlap and remove those that have no significant impact.

It said SME Corp had to put in place a world-class monitoring and evaluation system where “evaluations would require accurate and credible firm level data which entails working together with the ministries and agencies to collate the necessary information from programme recipients”.

The council said SME Corp would be engaging the private sector to participate in the master plan, especially in the six high impact programmes through public-private partnerships.

“The role of industry associations, chambers and non-governmental organisations will be further enhanced in assisting in reaching out the programmes to more SMEs in the country, and in capacity building at the district, state and national levels,” it said.

A risk mitigation plan was among NSDC's recommendation, too, as the global economy will likely remain uncertain with volatility in the financial markets posing external risks to Malaysia's growth momentum.

As for internal risks, the council said that comprised policy changes on the macroeconomic front and issues associated with the implementation and operation processes of the master plan itself.

“This may include risks from resource constraints due to escalation in costs, delays in execution, lack of authority of the coordination agency in driving the policies and programmes, and challenges faced in coordination and alignment of the policies and programmes,” it said.


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