By Mei Kuan
Prime Minister Tan Sri Mahiaddin Md Yasin unveiled the Economic Recovery and People’s Protection Package (PEMULIH) via a televised announcement today (June 28).
According to him, the government has implemented seven aid programmes and stimulus packages worth RM380 billion since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. It has benefitted over 20 million individuals and more than 2.4 million businesses.
The latest package, PEMULIH is worth RM150 billion and involves a fiscal injection of RM10 billion.
Its implementation runs on three main focuses: continuing the Prihatin Rakyat agenda, supporting businesses and boosting vaccination.
- Continuing the Prihatin Rakyat Agenda
The COVID-19 Special Aid (BKC) is introduced with an allocation of RM4.6 billion and is set to benefit more than 11 million households, elderly and singles of the hardcore poor, B40 and M40 categories.
In October, a RM500 aid will be channeled to every employee who has lost their jobs based on the data of the Social Security Organisation (Perkeso) or Employees Provident Fund (KWSP) for year 2021. It is expected to benefit over 1 million impacted individuals.
Together with the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat, a programme to improve cash assistance, these three aids which continue till the year end, are aimed to reduce the burden of the people.
For the food basket aid programme, an allocation of RM300,000 will be provided to all Members of Parliament, including those in the Opposition, for use at their respective constituencies. RM10 million is allocated for the Orang Asli community under the same programme.
The retail price for RON95 petrol, diesel and LPG to be maintained with a fuel subsidy worth over RM6 billion.
Based on the threshold value of crude palm oil, cooking oil will have a ceiling price of RM30 per bottle. With an additional subsidy of RM1 billion, the price of 1kg polybag pack of cooking oil is maintained at RM2.50.
To help curb social issues, the government also allocates RM15 million to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to expand psychosocial support services.
A discount of between 5% to 40% is available in accordance with electricity usage with a maximum limit of 900 kWh a month for domestic users. Aimed to reduce monthly expenditure of the people, the rebate is effective for 3 months beginning July 2021 with an overall discount worth RM346 million.
In addition, a 10% discount off electric bills are also available for impacted economic sectors for the month of October till December 2021.
The provision of free 1GB daily internet data is also extended till December 31 this year, to benefit 44 million users.
- Supporting Businesses
The PRIHATIN Special Grant 4.0 (GKP 4.0) is to be implemented with additional payment of RM500 respectively for September and November 2021. It is set to benefit over 1 million micro SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). Registrations to open mid-July.
Since the introduction of Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU), a total of RM15 billion has been spent and benefitted 2.7 million employees. Thus, the latest Wage Subsidy Programme 4.0 (PSU 4.0) will have an allocation of RM3.8 billion to benefit more than 2.5 million employees. It covers up to 500 employees for each employer with a rate of RM600 for each employee for 4 months.
The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) also introduces a new withdrawal scheme for its members called i-Citra, with a fixed payment rate of RM1,000 per month for 5 months. It is targeted to benefit 12.6 million members. Applications to open on July 15 with first payment to be credited in August 2021.
Impacted holders of insurance policy and takaful are permitted to apply for postponement of premium payment via opt-in.
A 6-month moratorium without conditions is also available for all individual borrowers of B40, M40, T20 categories and microentrepreneurs, applications to open on July 7.
- Boosting Vaccination
To date, more than 7 million doses of vaccine have been administered while 16.3 million people have registered.
To increase the capacity of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) and speed up vaccination, RM400 million is allocated to increase the nation’s vaccine supply and increase purchase from 120% to 130%.
Meanwhile, RM200 million is allocated to increase the daily vaccination rate. It includes the opening of 29 new vaccination centres (PPVs), upgrading the existing PPVs and home-to-home outreach programmes among others.
Besides the allowance of RM100 per day for volunteers at PPVs, the special allowance for frontliners at PPVs is set at RM600 for 6 months beginning July 2021.
“I also requested for the PPVs to operate 7 days a week in order to speed up vaccination for the people,” Mahiaddin added.
He stressed that the vaccination programme will be the main key to success in our fight against COVID-19.
“I urge those who have not registered for vaccination to fulfill their responsibility immediately for the wellbeing of all. Protect ourselves and everyone,” he concluded.