Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced the Rakyat Empowerment Programme — or Pemerkasa — an initiative that aims to revitalise the economy
In a press conference today, 17 March, Muhyiddin said the government has allocated RM20 billion for the programme, of which RM11 billion constitutes direct fiscal injection.
"Pemerkasa will focus on 20 strategic initiatives to boost economic growth, support business, and continue targeted assistance to the people and sectors that are still affected (by the pandemic)," said the premier.
Here are the highlights of the initiatives under the PEMERKASA programme:
- The government will allocate RM5 billion more into the immunisation programme in order to hasten and achieve the herd immunity target in December 2021, compared to the initial target of the first quarter of 2022.- With the ongoing immunisation programme, Muhyiddin said the government may no longer need to implement the statewide or nationwide MCO.
- Employers who conduct COVID-19 tests on employees will be allowed additional tax deductions.
- To ensure businesses' sustainability, the government has agreed to continue Geran Khas Prihatin (GKP) or GKP 3.0, whereby eligible small-medium enterprises (SMEs) will receive a one-time payout of RM1,000.
- For those who have lost their job during the pandemic, the government will allocate RM300 million to pay unemployed Malaysians RM600 a month for a maximum period of six months.
- For gig economy employers, they will receive RM200 for every employee they employ during this period.
- The National Employment Council (NEC) targets to create 500,000 jobs.
- The government will extend tourism tax and service tax exemption on accommodations provided by hotel operators until 31 December 2021.
- The government has agreed to offer a one-off Geran Bantuan Khas of RM3,000 to more than 5,000 travel agencies registered with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MOTAC).
- Homestay operators registered with MOTAC will also receive a one-off cash aid of RM600.
- Hotel operators, theme parks, convention centres, shopping malls, local airline offices, and tourism agencies will enjoy a special 10% discount on electricity bills.
- To help reduce the burden of companies facing financial problems, the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) has agreed to increase the indebtedness threshold from RM10,000 to RM50,000.
- SSM will waive business registration fees for the B40 group and university students who want to venture into entrepreneurship.
- Meanwhile, the Malaysian Co-operative Societies Commission (SKM) will provide financing incentives of up to RM100,000 without collateral to help affected companies.
- Households that purchased smartphones or new devices for schoolchildren will receive a subsidy of RM300.
- The government will offer a one-off RM500 cash aid to the B40 group who have lost income during the pandemic.
- An additional payment of RM500 will be given to Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) recipients who earn RM1,000 and below.
- There will be a temporary shelter in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur to help out those who don't have a place to live.
- RM100 million in e-wallet credits will be given out to low-income households so that they can purchase basic food items.
- The retail price of RON95 and diesel will have a ceiling price of RM2.05 per litre and RM2.15 per litre respectively.
On the first anniversary of Perikatan Nasional (PN) coming into power, Muhyiddin said protecting lives and livelihoods of Malaysians are his administration's top priority: