Article from NST dated 12 October 2012
LUCRATIVE: 14,577 also earned more than RM1,000 as side income
UP to 3,500 women entrepreneurs have earned at least RM3,500 a month for three consecutive months under the "End the Poverty" 1Azam programme when it was launched in 2010 until Aug 31, the Dewan Rakyat was told yesterday.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Heng Seai Kie said this was proof that the programme had a positive impact in getting women to earn a higher income.
"The target under the National Key Results Area (NKRA) is 4,000 entrepreneurs earning RM3,500 a month by December, but the government is hopeful the number will exceed the target."
Heng was replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Kamarul Baharin Abbas (PKR-Telok Kemang) on the effectiveness of the 1Azam programme for women.
She said 1Azam also saw 21,724 participants earning an additional income of more than RM200 a month, up to April.
Of the number, 7,147 were earning an income of between RM200 and RM1,000 a month, while the remaining 14,577 earned more than RM1,000, she added.
The 1Azam programme aimed to raise the economic standard of the low-income group by helping them to venture into business.
The house also heard that those under the age of 40, especially the self employed, comprised the most people who sought help from the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said as of August, 196,014 people had sought help from the agency.
"Of the figure, 77,994 people received assistance in restructuring or rescheduling of their loans to save them from bankruptcy. Some 2,316 have recovered from their predicament," said Awang Adek to Datuk Md Sirat Abu (BN-Bukit Katil).
He said efforts were under way by the agency, as well as some banks, to have debt management courses at schools so youths would not fall into the debt trap once they started working.