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NILAI, July 7 (Bernama) -- Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) is targeting RM100 million in sales through its retail development programme by establishing more Halal Marts (Halmarts), says Rural Development Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
He is confident that the target can be achieved following 14 Halmart entrepreneurs’ involvement in the programme since last year, making sales worth RM50 million since last year and with over 2,000 stock-saving units marketed.
He said the achievement proved that the retail industry could record encouraging growth despite the economic challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic era.
“The Halmart programme is one that matches products churned out by small medium enterprises (SMEs) with those offered by the hypermarkets to help the producers market the products locally.
"MARA also channels funds and provides training amounting to RM5 million for 14 entrepreneurs in the first phase so as to increase sales and contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP,” he told reporters after officiating at the Halmart Retail Development Programme, here, today.
Mahdzir said the platform provided by MARA was not just for empowering the convenience stores but would also indirectly provide the spaces for the SMEs to market their products.
He said the Halmart operators also went through a series of entrepreneurship training provided by MARA together with experts in the industries covering company management operations, financial system, sponsorship facilities and consultancy services.
Meanwhile, he hoped that more convenience stores with the halal concept be established, especially in the rural areas and act as a catalyst for economic development and create more job opportunities for the locals.
On another development, Mahadzir opined that the allowance of MARA-sponsored students needed to be raised slightly in view of the rising cost of living currently.
"For the overseas students, we have held discussions with the Public Service Department while a working paper on the matter is being prepared.
“We leave it to the Cabinet to decide on this while for the locally-sponsored students, the decision will be made by the Higher Education Ministry,” he said.
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