Govt approves RM1.5 billion soft loan for Proton to pay vendors

By KOI KYE LEE - 8 April 2016 @ 2:25 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has approved Proton Holdings Bhd's application for a soft loan of RM1.5 billion, subject to several conditions which must be met by the national carmaker.

The loan, said International Trade and Industries Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, is geared towards helping the national automotive company to pay vendors for components supplied,

Among the conditions for the loan, he said, were that Proton must convince the government of its new business model, to come up with a turnaround plan for the company, aside from providing a strategic plan to expand the domestic and international markets.

Mustapa said: "A special task force will also be set up and it will be led by Pemandu chief executive Datuk Seri Idris Jala. This team will overlook Proton's transformation plan and to ensure that it is successful."

The special task force will be made up of six representatives --- three from the public sector namely the Finance Ministry, International Trade and Industries Ministry, Economic Planning Unit (EPU) while the remaining three are from the private sector which will be identified at a later date.

The minister also said the government was aware that the automotive industry was a strategic industry and that there are 12,000 workers directly under Proton while approximately 50,000 were with the vendor companies.

(File pix) The government has approved Proton Holdings Bhd's application for a soft loan of RM1.5 billion which would help the national automotive company to pay vendors for components supplied. Pix by L. Manimaran