PUTRAJAYA, 27 March 2020 – Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has unveiled an economic stimulus package known as “pakej PRIHATIN” or caring package valued at RM250 billion that will benefit all Malaysians during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and Movement Control Order (MCO) period.
From the amount, RM128 billion to be used to protect the welfare of the people, RM100 billion to support businesses including small and medium enterprises.
The government on March 23rd had announced an allocation of a total of RM600 million for the Health Ministry for the purchase of equipment and to hire contract staff, especially nurses.
It had also announced that the Employees Provident Fund contributors aged below 55, can withdraw RM500 for up to 12 months.
An allocation of RM130 million has also been announced in the economic stimulus package and will be distributed equally to all states – regardless which political party is heading it – to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Highlights from the announcement are as follows:
– RM500 million for Health Ministry to ramp up the capability and resources of Health Ministry.
– Government raises special allowance for healthcare workers from RM400 to RM600 a month from April 1 to end of pandemic.
– Additional special allowance of RM200 a month for frontliners for police, immigration, Customs Department
– RM1,600 in aid to households earning below RM4,000, with RM1,000 paid in April and RM600 in May.
– National Caring Aid (Bantuan Prihatin Nasional) involving one-off cash payment of RM10 billion will be given to the B40 and M40 group, including private workers, farmers and fishermen. This includes RM1,600 to four million households earning RM4,000 and below; RM1,000 for households earning RM4,000 above; RM800 for single Malaysians aged 21 and above earning RM2,000 and below; RM500 for single Malaysians aged 21 and above earning between RM2,000 and RM4,000.
– RM200 one-off aid to students of higher education institutions who are affected
– Free Internet from April onwards until the end of MCO
– Government together with TNB will add an allocation of RM530 million for discounts between 15% and 50% for electricity usage up to a maximum of 600kW a month for six months from the April bill.
– Exemption of rental payment for PPR and public housing for six months.
– Insurance and takaful companies will set a RM8 million fund to bear COVID-19 screening test costs of up to RM300 each for policyholders
– Government to give one off payment of RM500 to some 120,000 e-hailing drivers beginning April 1st.
– Government and BNM will set additional allocation of RM4.5 billion for SME and micro entrepreneurs which will comprise of five initiatives.
– One-off RM500 for 120,000 e-hailing drivers nationwide with an allocation of RM60 million. This is in addition to the RM600 one-off aid announced for taxi drivers that was announced in the previous stimulus package.
– Government will pay the salaries borne by contractors involved in the service sector, such as cleaning services and supply of cooked food in government agencies.
– Government will introduce a wage subsidy of RM600 a month for three months for employers with a 50% drop in business since January 1st, for workers with a salary of below RM4,000.
– Government will continue all projects allocated in Budget 2020, including ECRL, MRT2 and the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) in line with its focus to ensure sustainable economic development.
– Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) levy exempted for all sectors for six months starting April 2020.
– Federal government premises such as school canteens, nurseries, cafeteria and convenience stores exempted from rent for six months.
– Government pensioners to receive RM500 one-off cash aid.