The unit for the Socio-Economic Development of the Indian Community (SEDIC) in the Prime Minister's Department has proposed a special funding scheme for Indian-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and skills training institutes for the upliftment of Indians in the low-income bracket.
SEDIC Director Prof Dr N.S. Rajendran said the unit would be seeking Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's endorsement of the scheme at a meeting tomorrow.
"The Prime Minister will look at the whole funding scheme that SEDIC has prepared. It was supposed to have been done last year but because of scheduling problems, we couldn't do it. So, tomorrow he will look into it and hopefully he will endorse the fund," he told Bernama when contacted here, today.
Yesterday, the Asia Samachar, an independent news portal for Sikhs in Southeast Asia, reported that Malaysian Indian-based NGOs would receive a special funding, which was set to be finalised soon.
Rajendaran said the funding would be extended to the various Indian communities, including Tamil, Malayalee, Sikh and Telugu, who were among 40 percent of the estimated 2.6 million Indians at the bottom rung of the income ladder.
An estimated 695,030 Malaysian Indians are at the bottom 40 percent or B40, with 139,010 families living in 38 districts in nine states who are earning less than RM2,537 a month.
"The special funding, when approved, will come from the Prime Minister's Office through the Finance Ministry," he said, adding that all funding matters related to the Indian community were handled by the Economic Planning Unit until mid last year. Since then, SEDIC had been given the full authority to handle funding for the development of Indians.
Rajendran hoped to see funds from the scheme being distributed to the recipients within two months after it was endorsed.
"We will invite proposals from all the NGOs and skills training institutes on the ground on how to help the community, especially those at the bottom 40 percent," he said, adding that guidelines would be issued on how the NGOs and training institutes could go about applying for the funds.
He, however, declined to say how much money would be allocated to the special funding scheme.