Batulicin, South Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on the national banking industry to support small-scale businesses in the country with credits.
"I call on national banks to extend credits in huge amounts to people`s small businesses," he said at a function to mark the 12th anniversary of Regional Autonomy (OTDA) and to present financial assistance for the implementation of the People`s Empowerment Program (PNPM) at Batulicin, Tanah Bumbu district, here on Friday.
He also called on all parties in the country to help strengthen people`s economic businesses, including creative industries.
"I commend three national banks, namely Bank Mandiri, Bank BNI and Bank BRI which will today extend credits to people`s businesses," he added.
On the occasion, Bank Mandiri President Director Agus Martowardojo handed Rp149.11 billion in credits to representatives of 2,010 local micro entrepreneurs.
BRI Director Sofyan Bashir presented Rp48.128 billion in credits for 6,618 micro entrepreneurs and BNI Director Gatot M Suwondo Rp36.374 billion for 231 micro businesses
The president also handed Rp203.93 billion in funds for the PNPM program in South Kalimantan. The amount included Rp114.25 billion for implementation of PNPM activities in 374 villages spread in 67 sub districts and 11 districts in the province.
He said the PNPM assistance was of great significance for the development of people`s businesses, including creative industries.
According to the president, creative industries contributed 19.5 percent or US$620 million (Rp6 trillion) of the state`s revenue in 2007.
The President also handed 3,200 basic need (sembako) packages to local poor people represented by Abdul Muin and Jumadah.
Yudhoyono and his entourage which included Mrs Ani Yudhoyono, Minister/State Secretary Hatta Radjasa, Cabinet Secretary Sudi Silalahi, Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto and Home Affairs Minister Mardiyanto are expected to return to Jakarta via Banjarmsin at 4 pm local time after officiating at the opening of a "smart" house at 3 pm local time. (*)