KUALA LUMPUR – There is an urgent need for cash handouts to households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Bernama.
Asia School of Business (ASB) assistant professor of economics, Dr. Melati Nungsari said cash handouts to these households need to be significantly increased, given the additional restrictions and the current economic recession.
“It is not just one-off payments. We need to go beyond the B40 income group and it needs to be generous.”
She also added that “Critics may say that this is expensive and it will be, but I believe that it would actually be more expensive not to do this in the long run.”
Melati said this during a panel discussion – “Saving Lives, Protecting Livelihoods”, in conjunction with the launch of the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic report entitled “Weathering the Surge” held virtually on June 23.
She noted that the latest data from the Department of Statistics revealed that 10% of households in the M40 income group are experiencing a reduction in incomes.
“I think we also need to acknowledge that people’s needs are diverse; people need to pay their phone bills, kids’ education and rents, so the cash handouts will really help the individuals as they can channel it to where they need it the most,” she added.