Pemerkasa Plus: RM40b aid package as lockdown looms

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An RM40 billion aid package has been announced by the prime minister tonight to help people and businesses through the national lockdown which comes into force after midnight.

Bernama

In a televised address, Muhyiddin Yassin said the relief package named Pemerkasa Plus involves RM5 billion in direct fiscal injection.

The aim of the package is to boost public health capacity, ensure the wellbeing of the people, and support the sustainability of businesses.

The highlights of his announcement:

RM1 billion to boost public health capacity

  • RM450 million will be spent on increasing beds and procuring equipment for ICUs in public hospitals, university hospitals and military field hospitals.
  • RM550 million on expenses related to Covid-19, including procurement of medicines, appointment of contract officers, and operations of quarantine centres.
  • Government vehicles such as buses, vans, and pool vehicles will be mobilised to help senior citizens and those living far from vaccine administration centres get vaccinated.

Continue Prihatin Rakyat agenda

  • RM1.2 billion will be allocated to increase the amount of Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat payments. Households with income under RM2,500 will receive additional RM500 BPR aid, while those with income between RM2,501 and RM5,000 will receive RM300. Meanwhile, bachelors will each receive RM100. The additional BPR aid would be transferred to the recipients’ bank accounts by the end of June.
  • Those in the B40 and affected by losses of income, as well as SMEs not operating during the lockdown are eligible for a three-month automatic loan moratorium. They may choose to take up the moratorium or pay back their loans at a 50% lowered rate over six months. This will involve some five million borrowers with a value of RM30 million. Borrowers only need to contact the respective banks to benefit from this assistance.
  • An RM1 billion scheme will be introduced for taxi and bus operators that will give them a 12-month moratorium on hire-purchase agreements.
  • An RM500 one-off cash aid will be given to 17,000 registered tour guides, 40,000 taxi drivers, 11,000 school bus drivers, 4,000 express bus drivers and 62,000 charter and e-hailing drivers. The financial aid, totalling RM68 million would be channelled to registered recipients in July.
  • To prevent massive layoffs, RM1.5 billion in additional wage subsidies will be disbursed by the Social Security Organisation (Socso). The subsidies are expected to help businesses for at least one more month. Up to 200,000 SMEs and 2.5 million workers would benefit from the programme.

Ensure business sustainability

  • For micro-entrepreneurs and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), the government would increase the Prihatin Special Grant by RM500 to RM1,500 to help manage their cash flow. Nearly a million micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs are expected to receive RM1,000 each in mid-June, and another RM500 in July.
  • Micro-entrepreneurs can also avail to low-interest microcredit loans from Bank Simpanan Nasional, Tekun, Mara, SME Corp, and Yapein to use as capital, with interest rates as low as three percent.
  • As for SMEs, loans are available through Bank Negara’s Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility (TRRF) at 3.5 percent interest rate. There is RM5 billion still available via TRRF, and Bank Negara will increase this to RM7 billion.
  • Hotel operators, tour agencies, shopping complexes, convention centres, theme parks, and local airline offices will get a 10 percent discount on their electricity bills from July to September.
  • Exemptions for tourism tax and service tax for hotel stays will be extended to Dec 31.
  • Building and business premise owners who reduce the rental rate for their business premises by 30 percent for six months up to Dec 31 will get a tax discount.
  • Sales tax exemption for CKD, imported CDU passenger vehicles will be extended from July 1 to Dec 31.
  • The stamp duty exemption under the homeownership campaign will be extended to Dec 31. It was supposed to end today.
  • Inland Revenue Board will consider appeals on tax penalties and postpone payment of penalties to 2022. Affected taxpayers and businesses may also get a new repayment schedule for outstanding taxes.
  • The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) will also allow extensions for public companies listed on Bursa Malaysia to send in their financial statements and to hold their annual meeting at a later time.
  • There will also be a moratorium on fines for those who are late in submitting statutory documents to SSM, while late payments for the renewal of business licenses will be exempted until Dec 31 for micro-SMEs.