Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announces RM150b ‘Pemulih’ package to help ease the people’s sufferings during the lockdown.
The package includes the government’s direct fiscal injection of RM10 billion and is aimed at giving comprehensive aid to the rakyat based on three main focuses; continuing with the Prihatin Rakyat agenda, supporting businesses and increasing vaccination rates.
To ensure the people continue to receive aid in the months to come until year-end, Muhyiddin announced the Bantuan Khas Covid-19 or BKC worth RM4.6 billion which will benefit over 11 million households, senior citizens and singles in the Bottom40 (B40) and Medium40 (M40) categories.
In the hardcore poor category, households will receive RM500 in August and November as well as RM300 in December while single people will get RM200 in August and RM300 in November.
“Households in the B40 category will get RM500 in August and RM300 in December while single people will receive RM200 in August.
Muhyiddin said this was in addition to the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat or BPR which was announced in Pemerkasa Plus previously where the government agreed to give aid of up to RM500 in July and in stages starting tomorrow (June 29).
Phase 3 of the BPR, he said, where the assistance ranges between RM100 and RM1,400 will be paid out in September, along with payments for BPR appeal cases which have been approved.
Overall, the value of BPR stands at RM4.9 billion.
Muhyiddin said the Government has agreed to allocate RM300,000 to each Member of Parliament, including Opposition Members of Parliament, to implement Food Basket Assistance to the affected groups in their respective areas.
The Government has also agreed to provide a discount on electricity bills between 5 to 40 percent according to the use of electricity rates with a maximum limit of 900 kilowatt hours per month. Among them, a discount of 40 percent will be given to electricity consumption below 200 kilowatt hours per month and 15 percent for consumption between 201 to 300 kilowatt hours per month.
Muhyiddin said there will also be Bantuan Kehilangan Pendapatan where in Oct, RM500 will be channelled to workers who had lost their income based on the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and the Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) data this year.
The government will also expand the Elaun Mencari Pekerjaan (Job-Seeking Allowance) to Sosco non-contributors, especially new graduates, school-leavers and informal sector workers where those who are registered under MyFutureJobs are set to receive at least a RM300 allowance.
A total RM125 million will be channelled through the Human Resource Development Corporation to implement the Place and Train initiative under the Janapreneur programme, especially for school-leavers and graduates.
This initiative is expected to offer opportunities to 30,000 people to undergo skill training programmes with the assurance of job employment once it concludes.
On education loan repayments, he said this would include repayments in four categories – the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), federal education loans under the Public Service Department (PSD), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) education loans, and loans under the Skills Development Fund Corporation (PTPK).
He said PTPTN borrowers would be provided with a three-month targeted moratorium, while PSD federal education loan borrowers would be able to defer their loan repayment and payment of compensation claims for federal scholarships for up to six months.
Mara education loan repayments will be deferred for three months, or a rescheduling of the loan repayment with monthly instalments as low as RM100 for 12 months, and fourth, the postponement of PTPK loans for three months.
The prime minister also announced that insurance and takaful policy holders affected by the pandemic could apply for deferment of payment of insurance premiums and takaful contributions until Dec 31, 2021.
He said this opt-in initiative would cover policy holders and life insurance certificates, and family takaful certificates.
He also said the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) will introduce a new withdrawal scheme for its members called i-Citra.
Under i-Citra, some 12.6 million EPF members will be able to withdraw up to RM5,000.
The payment would be split into five months at RM1,000 a month, depending on the amount available in a member’s account.
“The implementation of i-Citra is expected to channel RM30 billion to the rakyat to cover their daily expenses.
“Members can apply for this EPF withdrawal scheme via the i-Citra online portal at icitra.kwsp.gov.my beginning July 15, 2021,” Muhyiddin said.
He informed that the first payment is expected to be credited into members’ account in August 2021.
Muhyiddin said the Government has allocated a total of RM5.1 billion through the GKP initiative where eligible recipients have already received their GKP 3.0 payment of RM1,000 about two weeks ago, and will receive another RM500 in mid-July.
The Government has also agreed to provide additional payments under GKP 4.0 to eligible recipients, with RM500 to be paid in September and another RM500 in November 2021.
Through the PSU 4.0 initiative, the Government will accommodate up to 500 employees per employer at a rate of RM600 per employee for a period of four months, which is two months for all sectors in the second phase of VAT, and the next two months specifically for sectors categorised in the list. negative during the later third phase period.
If previously, the implementation of PSU was required with a salary limit below RM4,000, under PSU 4.0 no more salary limit conditions are set. This means, employers can apply for PSU 4.0 for their employees who earn more than RM4,000.
Muhyiddin announced that with the cooperation of the bank, a six-month moratorium will be granted to all individual borrowers, whether from the B40, M40 or T20 group, and micro-entrepreneurs. There are no more conditions such as income reduction, no review of whether you have lost your job and no more documentation to be submitted for the application. You just need to apply, and approval will be given automatically. This facility is also offered to affected SME operators subject to review and approval by the bank. Applications will open on July 7, 2021. Borrowers only need to apply and sign an agreement to amend the relevant loan terms.
On vaccination, he said the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme (NIP) will be accelerated under the new aid package through a RM1 billion boost.
In line with the government’s efforts to achieve herd immunity as soon as possible, several new initiatives have been drawn up to further empower the NIP.
To expedite the NIP implementation schedule, Muhyiddin said a total RM400 million would be allocated to increase the country’s vaccine supply and according to him, this would cover 130 per cent of the country’s population.
“The increase in the vaccine supply will act as additional buffer stock and also for the 6.4 million adolescents aged 12 to 18 years to be vaccinated. Priority will be given to those who will sit for the SPM examination.
“The government is also closely monitoring and making strict controls following the spread of the Delta Plus variant.
“This has caused several countries to record an increase in the number of infections to the point they had to re-implement movement control orders,” he said.
The Prime Minister also said the government will add 29 more vaccination centres (PPV) on top of the current 341 PPVs as well as introducing drive-thru, mobile and Home-to-Home Outreach PPVs.
Another initiative to speed up the NIP, according to Muhyiddin was to encourage industries and companies to use their premises as PPVs so that their workers can be vaccinated.
The last initiative under the Pemulih package to expedite the NIP, according to the Prime Minister, is to ensure that those in the vulnerable groups will be vaccinated as soon as possible.
Muhyiddin said up to RM30 subsidy will be provided to vulnerable groups such as the disabled and senior citizens for taxi fares and e-hailing rides.
“This is to better facilitate their movements to get vaccinated on the day of their appointment.”
As of June 26, seven million doses of vaccines have been given to the public, involving five million people.
Of this, 15.5 percent have received their first dose while almost two million people or six per cent have been given two doses.
At the moment, the country has achieved an average vaccination rate of over 200,000 doses a day in the past seven days.