Fri, 25 Feb 2000

Rp 7.5b allotted for small-scale enterprises

JAKARTA (JP): The city administration is allocating Rp 7.5 billion (US$1 million) in soft loans for small-scale enterprises for the 2000 fiscal year, an official said on Thursday.

"Small-scale enterprises can use the scheme to finance their businesses," head of the small-scale business task force (GUSK) Dameria Saragih told reporters at her office.

"But we will strictly select the recipients to ensure that only small-scale enterprises receive the loans," she said.

Under this scheme, the task force will guarantee and recommend eligible vendors to receive the loans from city-owned Bank DKI.

"The vendors can register at our office or the five mayoralties' offices to get the recommendation. We will conduct a survey to assess their businesses," Dameria said.

"Based on the assessment result, we can recommend how much of a loan they will receive," she added, citing that the group allocated more than Rp 1 billion in the 1999/2000 fiscal year.

Dameria said there were more than 830,000 street vendors and other small-scale businesses registered at her office.

"The actual number is higher as we can't register them all. Besides, their number increases every day," she said.

"Therefore, the city administration cannot provide the scheme for all vendors yet."

She also said the city administration decided that private market developers had to provide selling space for small-scale vendors since 1993 as a way to help the street vendors.

"The developers can also compensate with cash instead or build markets for the small-scale vendors," she said.

"We have collected more than Rp 15.5 billion in compensation since 1993. We have used about Rp 8.5 billion to fund the construction of markets and other related activities," she said.

There are nine developers who constructed markets and 36 developers who provided more than 43,850 square meters of selling space for the small-scale vendors, she added.

Dameria acknowledged that the city did not have an integrated agency to handle problems of the small-scale enterprises yet.

"There are several agencies, with their own authorities, handling the problems. There is also a coordination problem between agencies," she said.

She also complained that the City Planning Agency had failed to include space for street vendors in the city planning.

An official at the City Planning Agency, who was separately interviewed, acknowledged that the plan did not elaborate on the small details because it was only a general guide.

"The plan only allocates the zones of activities for each mayoralty," the official, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said.

"The agency, however, controls all developers to meet all the requirements to provide business space for the small-scale enterprises," she added. (05)