Press Trust of India | Updated: July 12, 2009 18:16 IST
Malaysian government has earmarked $400,000 in funds annually to assist ethnic Indian entrepreneurs to set up small scale industries, increasing the allocation for the scheme by five times.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razzak announced the increase in allocation under the 'Tekun' scheme whereby micro finance is provided to small-scale entrepreneurs in the country.
The allocation which was initially at RM 3 million ($87,000) was increased to RM 15 million ($420,000) annually, after the largest party representing Malaysian Indians asked for a raise.
Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president S Samy Vellu said: "We asked for it to be increased to RM 10 million. Instead, the Prime Minister gave RM 15 million annually".
Vellu said the additional funds would enable the MIC to help more Indian small entrepreneurs in need of financial help.
Razzak announced a number of economic measures for the public to mark his first 100 days in office, even as the opposition accused him of resorting to populist measures like to strengthen his support.
In a nationally televised speech on Saturday, Najib announced a number of steps for the poor, including reducing fees for people to set up small businesses in the capital and road toll charges.
Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said Najib was trying to be "an early Christmas Santa Claus" with his measures.
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