Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced a new stimulus to aid people during the total lockdown, Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0 effective 1st June to 14th June 2021.
The entire PEMERKASA Plus programme amounts to RM40 billion, with the government’s direct fiscal injection of RM5 billion. The new PEMERKASA Plus measures will be implemented based on 3 main goals, Enhancing Public Health Capacity, Continuing the People’s Concern Agenda, and Support Business Continuity.
Enhancing Public Health Capacity
RM450 million to increase the capacity of ICU beds and equipment for COVID-19 treatment for public hospitals and also in Public University’s Hospitals such as UiTM, UPM and UKM as well as through ATM field hospitals such as in Sabah and Sarawak.
In addition, outsourcing will also be implemented to private hospitals. This amount includes RM200 million announced by the Minister of Finance on 22nd May recently.
RM550 million to cover the expenses related to COVID-19 of various agencies including increased operating and management costs in dealing with the COVID health crisis including medicines, reagents for screening and appointment of officers on a contract basis. Operational costs for COVID-19 Quarantine and Treatment Center or PKRC at MAEPS and at the state level are also included.
Extending the service period of more than 14,000 existing contract medical officers and nurses until 2022. More than 500 health workers who will retire compulsorily this year will be re-hired on a contract basis
Continuing the People’s Concern Agenda
RM2.1 billion increase for the rate of the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat or BPR programme.
Households with below RM2,500 income will receive an additional amount of RM500 and those with income between RM2,501 to RM5,000 will receive RM300. Singles will receive RM100 each.
The additional BPR will be credited by the end of June 2021. This payment is in addition to the last payment phase of the BPR in September 2021 amounting to RM2.4 billion in total.
Loan Repayments and Moratoriums
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the banking industry have given full assurances and commitments to continue to provide loan repayment assistance and moratoriums.
B40 groups and people affected by job loss as well as micro-enterprises and SMEs that are not allowed to operate during the MCO period are given the option to obtain a moratorium approval automatically for 3 months or to get a reduction in repayment in instalments of 50% for a period of 6 months.
The initiative will be implemented immediately in June which is expected to benefit more than 5 million borrowers with a value of up to RM30 billion. Borrowers only need to contact their respective banks to benefit from this assistance.
The government will also launch the Bus and Taxi Hire Purchase Rehabilitation Scheme this week with an allocation of RM1 billion. Through this scheme, eligible bus and taxi operators can get a loan moratorium of up to 12 months and extend the loan period of up to 36 months.
Government agencies and companies offer deferred loan repayments as well as rental discounts for business premises.
MARA will continue the MARA PRIHATIN Peace of Mind programme which is open until 31st July 2021. Borrowers can apply online to reschedule student loan repayments or moratoriums.
For MARA entrepreneurs affected by the economic downturn, a 30% discount on the rental of business premises will be given for the month of May to July 2021.
The 1 month Wage Subsidy Programme under SOCSO for all affected economic sectors at a cost of RM1.5 billion with a limit of 500 employees per application, will be borne by the Government and expected to benefit 2.5 million employees and more than 200,000 employers.
Employers registered under the Human Resource Development Council (PMSB) will be given a levy payment exemption for one month in June 2021. At the same time, employees can also improve their knowledge and skills through the free e-LATiH learning portal involving over 400 modules and skills courses.
Support Business Continuity
The granting of the Special Caring Grant (GKP) will be increased by RM500 to RM1,500 for almost 1 million SMEs, micro-enterprises will receive RM1,000 in mid-June and another RM500 will be disbursed in July 2021.
A total of RM1.5 billion will be provided for the whole year by BSN, TEKUN, MARA, SME Corp. and YAPEIM with a financing rate as low as 3% for traders that would like to obtain micro credit financing as capital.
To further support SMEs, the Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM) will add RM2 billion of Targeted Assistance and Rehabilitation Facilities for affected SMEs.
To reduce the taxi drivers, rental cars and school buses’ burden, a one-off Special Assistance of RM500 will be provided to 17,000 tourist guides, 40,000 taxi drivers, 11,000 school bus drivers, 4,000 sightseeing buses and 62,000 rental car and e-hailing drivers. This assistance amounting to RM68 million will be channelled to registered recipients in July 2021.
The Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDN) will consider appeals for the imposition of penalties and defer payment of penalties to 2022 as well as provide rescheduling of outstanding tax payments for taxpayers and affected businesses.
The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) also agreed to reintroduce extensions for the submission of financial statements, the implementation of annual meetings for public companies listed on Bursa Malaysia and a moratorium on fines for late submission of statutory documents. SSM will also exempt late fees to renew business licenses until 31st December 2021 for micro SMEs as well as sole proprietorship and partnership businesses.
The Interim Measures to Reduce the Impact of Disease Act COVID-19 or Act 829 will be improved to assist affected individuals and businesses. Coverage related to the inability to perform contractual obligations will be extended with effect from 31 December 2021. In this regard, the Government provides free mediation services through the COVID Mediation Center to all individuals or businesses regardless of background.
Electricity bill discounts to the affected sectors like the hotel operators, travel and tourism agencies, shopping premises and complexes, convention centres, theme parks and local airline offices are eligible to receive a 10% electricity bill discount for an additional 3 months between July and September 2021.
Special deduction to owners of buildings and business spaces who offer a reduction in the rent of business premises to SMEs and non-SMEs for a further 6 months until 31st December 2021 for a reduction in rent of at least 30% of the current rental rate. The extension of tourism tax and service tax exemption on accommodation by hotel operators until 31 December 2021 is still ongoing.
Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) stamp duty exemption will be extended until 31st December 2021.
Sales tax exemption on imported CKD and CBU passenger vehicles previously announced under the PENJANA initiative will be extended from 1st July 2021 to 31st December 2021.
A COVID-19 Fund (Kumpulan Wang COVID-19) was set and approved with a ceiling fund of RM65 billion. A total of RM38 billion has been spent in 2020 and another RM10 billion has been channelled to the people since April 2021. The remaining RM17 billion will be spent in the near future. Among these initiatives and programs include:
BPR Phase 2
Implemented early May last year with an allocation of RM2.7 billion which has been channelled to 8.4 million recipients, while the Phase 3 payments worth RM2.4 billion is scheduled for September 2021
Wage Subsidy Programmes
Employment incentives as well as training programmes to help secure existing jobs as well as encourage the provision of new jobs with a target of 500,000 for this year
Small Projects Implementation
The implementation of small projects with an allocation of more than RM2 billion to be spent for utilisation from class G1 to G4 contractors for the improvement of infrastructure and public facilities.
The Caring Networking Programme
The programme worth RM2 billion, launched in early May, will help 8.4 million BPR recipients to subscribe to telecommunication services or obtain mobile phone devices.
Open for registration starting 1st June 2021 to enable 2 million youths and eligible tertiary students to obtain credit worth RM150 from e-cash service providers.
The PM has also announced that Ministers and Deputy Ministers will be channelling their salaries for 3 months commencing from June 2021 to the Disaster Trust Account (Akaun Amanah Bencana) to finance COVID-19 related expenses before advising the public to stay at home during the lockdown and encouraging the frontliners to stay strong.
The whole PEMERKASA plus could be accessed and downloaded at the Prime Minister Office website.