Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Wednesday launched a new economic stimulus package, known as the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy or Pemerkasa worth RM20 billion, with a new fiscal injection amounting to RM11 billion.
He noted that the Pemerkasa will focus on 20 strategic initiatives to support business, boost economic growth, and continue targeted assistance to people and affected sectors, reported Bernama.
“Our country is currently in the fifth stage of the 6R Strategy (Resolve, Resilience, Restart, Recovery, Revitalise, and Reform) of the Comprehensive Economic Recovery Plan, namely, ‘Revitalise’ or empower the economy,” said Muhyiddin as quoted by Bernama.
“At this stage, the economic recovery strategy is focused on efforts to boost and revive economic activity, or jump-start the economy.”
Pemerkasa is the sixth assistance package introduced by the government since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The others are the RM250 billion Prihatin, RM10 billion Prihatin SMEs, RM35 billion Penjana, RM10 billion Kita Prihatin, and RM15 billion Permai. The six aid packages has a total value of RM340 billion.
Pemerkasa has five focuses – curb the spread of COVID-19, strengthen national competitiveness, drive economic recovery, transform the economy and ensure a regional and community inclusion agenda.
Among the initiatives in Pemerkasa is to raise the immunisation programme’s allocation from RM3 billion to RM5 billion to accelerate the group immunisation target from the first quarter of 2022 (Q1 2022) to December 2021.
The government is also committed to reviving the affected sectors via the provision of wage incentives, the immediate implementation of development projects and the provision of tax incentives as well as micro-credit financing facilities.
“The government has agreed to increase the allocation for small-scale projects in 2021 to RM5 billion from RM2.5 billion. Among small projects that will be dedicated to class G1 to G4 contractors are repairs such as infrastructure and public facilities damaged due to floods,” said Muhyiddin.
“Apart from that, micro-credit facilities will also be provided, among others, through Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), a RM300 million fund will be provided with a financing limit of up to RM50,000, where the interest rate has been reduced to 3.0% from 3.5%.”
The Prime Minister added that Tekun Nasional will also roll out the Tekun POS-prenuer programme “where applicants can generate income through delivery contracts”.
SME Corporation will also provide RM50 million to help local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) secure up to RM250,000 financing at an interest rate of as low as 3.0%.
Initiatives to revitalise the retail and tourism sectors were also announced by Muhyiddin, which include various tax exemptions as well as deferments of income tax instalment payments.
To encourage companies to raise funds via the stock market, the Prime Minister said listing-related fees will be exempted for 12 months for companies applying for listing on the LEAP, Main and ACE Markets of Bursa Malaysia.
A RM30 million matching grant was also approved by the government to encourage investment in the mechanism as well as automation of the palm oil industry.
“The Ministry of International Trade and Industry will continue to explore new export potentials, as well as encourage the use of automation and mechanisation among industry players,” said Muhyiddin.
About RM1.2 billion will also be allocated to 2.4 million recipients from the B40 group, who lost their income, to help them obtain assistance like a RM500 one-off assistance.
“For individuals with bankrupt status, the Malaysian Insolvency Department will facilitate their dealings with the bank in receiving government assistance,” said Muhyiddin.
He noted that the government has always strived to provide assistance to all sections of the community, including the homeless, during this difficult period.
As such, initiatives like temporary shelters will be provided.
“Assistance for kitchen items with an allocation of RM100 million is expected to benefit 300,000 poor households in major cities across the country,” he said.
The government also raised the maximum salary eligibility limit for Disabled Workers Allowance from RM1,200 to RM1,500 per month.
Photo source from the Prime Minister’s Office of Malaysia