PM announces RM10b more to help keep SMEs afloat, wage subsidy now worth RM13.8b

Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin said he hopes the measure will help workers to continue working. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced today an additional RM10 billion stimulus package for small and medium enterprises (SME), on top of the RM250 billion already announced before.

This included increasing wage subsidies now to a total of RM13.8 billion, which will benefit 4.8 million workers across the country.

“We hope this will help the SME and help the workers to continue working,” the prime minister announced in a special address this afternoon.

“We hope this additional package worth RM10 billion can help lessen the financial burden of the SME, and subsequently guarantee that two-thirds of the total workers in this country will continue being employed,” the prime minister announced in a special address this afternoon.

The additional wage subsidy come on top of the RM5.9 billion announced under the first Prihatin stimulus packge unveiled at the end of last month.

With the addition, the RM600 subsidy will be extended to all SMEs that employ up to 200 workers, double the previous package.

Those employing between 76 and 200 people will receive RM800 per worker. Meanwhile, firms that employ no more than 75 people will be subsidised with RM1,200 per worker.

All companies registered with the Companies Commission Malaysia (SSM) and Social Security Organisation (Socso) before January 2020 will be eligible for assistance but with the condition that no workers be laid off for the next six months.

The subsidy will last three months.

Muhyiddin also announced a special grant worth RM3,000 for micro businesses. The programme will cost RM2.1 billion and is expected to benefit 700,000 microenterprises.

“All microenterprises registered with Inland Revenue Board, SSM and local authorities will be eligible,” the prime minister said.

The extended package Muhyiddin unveiled today followed strong criticisms by industries who felt left out by the RM250 billion Prihatin stimulus package announced last week.

From the total, RM100 billion was allocated for SMEs, although detractors noted a large chunk of it were just loans and guarantees.

The SME Association has said nearly all its members face cash flow problems and badly need direct assistance to avert closure.

Just hours prior, Singapore announced that it will pay for 75 per cent of the wages of every Singaporean worker in employment, up to the first S$4,600 (RM13,909) of their monthly salary, for the month of April.

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