Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin just announced a financial assistance package valued at RM15 billion to help Malaysian citizens get through trying times
He broke the news in a live address today, 18 January.
Dubbed Perlindungan Ekonomi dan Rakyat Malaysia or PERMAI, the Prime Minister said that the government's focus is to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The package has three goals: to fight the COVID-19 outbreak, preserve the welfare of the people, and to support business continuity.
Here are the highlights:
- A total of RM800 million is put aside for the Ministry of Health and RM200 million will be granted to the National Security Council as well as other agencies involved in the fight against COVID-19. The funding will focus on supplying more screening kits as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers.
- RM3 billion will go towards the National Immunisation Programme and acquiring vaccines.
- RM150 million in recruiting 3,500 new health officials who will start working end of this month.
- Medical frontliners will receive RM600 a month while non-medical frontliners will receive RM200 a month until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- RM100 million will be channelled to private hospitals to admit and treat both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
- Value of tax exemption for full health screenings has been increased from RM500 to RM1,000.
- Bantuan Prihatin Nasional or BPN 2.0 payouts will be expedited to 21 January. A total of 11.1 million people will receive a payment amounting to RM2.38 billion.
- The Department of Social Welfare (JKM) will initiate a food basket programme, providing qualified households with RM100 worth of food products with an allocation of RM50 million.
- RM25 million granted to the GLIC/GLC Disaster Relief Network for the elderly, homeless, disabled, and flood victims.
- Moratorium assistance and loan repayment reduction will continue to be provided as previously announced.
- Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will make an advance payment of up to RM1,000 for Category 2 i-Sinar applicants.
- Special tax relief of up to RM2,500 on the purchase of mobile phones, computers, and tablets valid for another year until 31 December 2021.
- 1GB free data provided to people to browse the Internet and for educational purposes, which started on 1 January, will be extended until April.
- Sales tax exemption on locally assembled and imported passenger vehicles supposedly valid until December 2020 is extended until 30 June.
- PTPTN borrowers affected by COVID-19 and flood disasters can apply for a moratorium on their loans for three months. Application is open until 31 March.
- Wage Subsidy Program 3.0 under Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) will be improved, where for a period of one month, eligible employers will receive a subsidy amounting to RM600 for each of their employees earning less than RM4,000 and the limit of 200 employees for each application will be increased to 500 employees instead.
- Those who lost their jobs during the Movement Control Order (MCO) may apply for the Employment Insurance System (EIS) PRIHATIN in order to receive up to 30% of their salary for three months.
- RM24 million is allocated to the SOCSO Self-Employment Social Security Scheme in order to fund full contributions of delivery riders under the programme.
- PERMAI Special Grant will provide 500,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Sabah with RM1,000 while 300,000 SMEs in other states will receive RM500.
- 118,000 bus, taxi, and e-hailing drivers will receive a RM500 one-off payment, amounting to RM66 million.
- Previously announced microcredit scheme for SMEs will be expedited.
- The government will also expedite the launch of the SME and Micro SME e-commerce campaign as well as the 'Shop Malaysia Online' campaign with a RM300 million allocation.
- Maximum funding of the Danajamin PRIHATIN Guarantee Scheme will be increased from RM500 million RM1 billion.
- Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) education loan borrowers can apply for rescheduling of loan repayments or loan moratorium until 31 March.
- MARA business owners affected by COVID-19 and the flood can apply for the Rescheduling Programme under MARA Business Financing.
- MARA has agreed to give a 30% discount on business premise rental for a period of six months from November 2020 to April 2021.
- Operators of hotels, theme parks, convention centres, shopping malls, as well as local airline and travel agencies offices will receive a 10% discount on electricity bills until March.
- Electric rebates will be given to all domestic and non-domestic TNB consumers at 2 sen per kilowatt per hour, which is equivalent to a reduction in electricity bills of up to 9% from January until June.
- Credit Guarantee Corporation will be introducing a Bus and Taxi Hire Rehabilitation Scheme with a RM1 billion allocation.
- The effective period of inability to perform contractual obligations under the COVID-19 Act 2020 to be extended from 31 December 2021 to 31 March 2021.
The Prime Minister ended his speech by saying, "I hope you can stay calm at your own homes and if anyone needs to be present in the office, follow SOPs to stay safe"
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