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National Budget 2021 vs COVID-19 Pandemic

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The National Budget 2021 was tabled by the Minister of Finance Tengku Zafrul Aziz, on 6th November 2020 where RM236.5 billion is allocated for operational expenditure, RM69 billion for development and RM17 billion for COVID-19 fund.

Here are the highlights that we should be aware of:

Emolument

  • RM200 assistance will be given to underprivileged families per child under 6 years of age.
  • RM150 assistance will be provided to underprivileged families per child between the ages of 7-18 years old.
  • 1% decrease in income tax for those earning between RM50k – RM70k per year.

Workforce

  • From January 2021, KWSP contributions will be reduced from 11% to 9%.
  • KWSP account holders may withdraw RM500 from their Account 1 monthly for 12 months up to a total of RM6,000.
  • The RM3000 per year Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) tax relief has been extended until 2025.
  • “Elaun Mencari Pekerjaan” PERKESO is currently taking care of people who have lost their jobs and will be extended for three months in 2021.

Human Resource

  • New graduates will each be given RM3,000 worth of vouchers to take professional certification courses.
  • Berhad Human Resource Creation will be allocated RM100 million to (HRDF) to introduce the Private Sector Joint Training Programme.

Employment

  • RM100 million will be given to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to promote talent transfer.
  • RM100 million to the Regional Development Authorities (IRDA & READY) to help staff severely affected by border closures with new skills.

Employability

MyStep will be launched by the government to provide 50,000 short-term work opportunities.

Workplace

RM20 million to enable private sectors to construct child care service centres in their workplace.

BSH to BPR

Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) will substitute BSH and the following categories are:

  • RM1,200 will be provided to households with one child earning less than RM2,500.
  • RM1,800 will be provided to households with two or more children who receive less than RM2,500.
  • RM800 will be provided to households with one child earning RM2,501 to RM4,000.
  • RM1,200 will be provided to households with two or more children, earning RM2,501 to RM4,000.
  • RM500 will be given to households with one child earning RM4,001 to RM5,000.
  • Households with two children or more would receive RM750, earning RM4,001 to RM5,000.
  • RM350 will be granted to unmarried individuals earning less than RM2,500. The age limit was reduced to 21-years-old for single persons.

Youth

The government will send a one-off RM50 to youths between the ages of 18 to 20 through their E-wallet accounts.

Tech Aid

  • For internet subscriptions and mobile phone costs, RM180 will be given to each B40 user.
  • GLC and GLIC will contribute RM150 million to Tabung CERDIK to provide laptops to 150,000 students in 500 schools.

Sports

  • In order to construct, update and maintain sports facilities nationally, RM103 million will be allocated.
  • The development of basketball, football, badminton, cycling, and the development of female athletes would be allocated RM55 million.
  • RM15 million for e-sports development.
  • Under the TEKUN Sports scheme, RM20 million will be allocated as a soft loan to ensure the survival of the operators of sports facilities.
  • In addition to RM500, the lifestyle income tax relief cap has been expanded from RM2,500 – RM3,000.

Development

  • RM15 billion allocated for transport infrastructure projects including Gemas-Johor Bahru project.
  • Continuation of projects including the Rapid Transit System between Johor Bahru and Singapore.
  • Government to proceed with High Speed Rail project, subject to discussions with Singapore.

Housing

  • RM500 million for the construction, under the Perumahan Rakyat scheme.
  • The construction of 3,000 Rumah Mesra Rakyat units will commence at RM315 million.
  • For the renovation of low-cost housing, RM125 million is allocated, with aid contributing to repairs.
  • The government will also collaborate with financial institutions to plan a rent-to-own scheme for 5,000 properties.
  • Purchase agreements signed from 1st January 2021 to 31st December 2025 for homes valued at RM500,000 and below, the government should exclude stamp duty.

Meanwhile, the Johor Budget 2021 was tabled by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ir. Hasni Mohammad on the same day as the National Budget 2021 and was approved by the Parliament on 26th November 2020. Johor’s budget will focus on three main foundations: improving people’s well-being, accelerating economic growth, and building fiscal and economic resilience. At RM248.14 million, with operational expenditure of RM997.21 million, which includes contributions to the Development Fund, 12 major agendas are set for RM850 million, RM513.69 million for emoluments and RM483.51 million for other expenditures.

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