Finance

Malaysian PM Announces RM250B Covid-19 Relief Package

PM Muhyiddin addresses the country at a 3pm speech today | Image Credit: Bernama

This afternoon, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin addressed the nation and outlined the key points of a RM250 billion economic stimulus package hoped to mitigate some of the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic impacting Malaysia and the world.

Some of the package’s key highlights were as follows:

• RM500 million for Health Ministry to ramp up its capability and resources.

• 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 from police, immigration, and customs.

• 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.

• 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 groups, 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.

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• Government pensioners to receive RM500 one-off cash aid payment.

• 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-190 screening test costs of up to RM300 each for policyholders.

• Government and Bank Negara will set additional allocation of RM4.5 billion for SME and micro entrepreneurs, which will comprise five initiatives. Presumably the mechanics and requirements associated with these five initiatives will be announced soon.

• One-off payment of RM500 for 120,000 e-hailing drivers nationwide with a total 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 ordinarily 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 who have had a 50% drop in business since January 1, 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.

• The 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.

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