The third stage of the cost of living aid or Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), formerly BR1M, will be paid out starting Aug 15 this year, says the Finance Ministry.
This is in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidiladha, which will take place on Aug 22.
An estimated total of RM1.6 billion will be disbursed to approximately 4.1 million people.
In a statement on Friday (Aug 3), Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Federal Government was committed to implementing the promises of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto.
“BSH payments will be credited directly to the respective recipient’s account. For those with no account number, the letter of approval will be mailed directly to the address of the recipient, which can then be cashed at any nearby branch of Bank Simpanan Nasional,” he added.
He added that despite the axing of the goods and services tax (GST), the Federal Government had not gone bankrupt as projected by the former Barisan Nasional administration.
“In fact, we are still able to provide the BSH even without GST collection,” he said.
Detractors have targeted many of PH’s popular policies and claimed public welfare spending will take a hit as the consumption levy’s removal would slash up to a fifth of government revenue.
“In addition, RM3 billion has been allocated for petrol subsidy until the end of the year to stabilise the prices of RON95 and diesel at RM2.20 and RM2.18 per litre.”
This was despite global prices rising by 42% to US$74 (RM302) per barrel compared to US$52 (RM212) per barrel previously, he added.
He also stressed that the RM1.6 billion payment would be made under financial constraints as the Federal Government’s debt had reached RM1 trillion “due to 1MDB’s financial scandal and mismanagement”.
“The Government hopes that this BSH will help the people to buy essential items and prepare to celebrate Hari Raya Aidiladha. I would like to emphasise that the Government will try its best to give priority to the people, especially the less fortunate,” Lim added.
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