Saravanan: Wage subsidy 2.0 of RM1.5b would boost workers confidence, strengthen workforce

Yiswaree Palansamy
·2-min read
Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said that the extension of the wage subsidy programme or wage subsidy 2.0 would serve as a confidence booster for the local workforce. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said that the extension of the wage subsidy programme or wage subsidy 2.0 would serve as a confidence booster for the local workforce. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said that the extension of the wage subsidy programme or wage subsidy 2.0, involving an allocation of RM1.5 billion, would serve as a confidence booster for the local workforce.

He said that the wage subsidy is highly welcomed, given how businesses have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“So we see that the wage subsidy programme has played an important role,” he said, referring to the initial programme which saw the government channelling RM2.4 billion to business owners to help retain their employees.

He was speaking at a press conference in Parliament just after Budget 2021 was tabled.

Saravanan said that the initial programme salvaged over 300,000 companies and 2.72 million workers, adding that under the current Budget, the second phase of the wage subsidy of RM1.5 billion would serve to further strengthen the country’s workforce.

“Therefore, their job opportunities will continue. If we were to see what was announced by the finance minister, he mentioned people’s wellness.

“People’s wellness depends on the continuity of businesses and also economic resilience, and these three depend on the workforce.

“So when the welfare of the workers are protected, then their wellness continues, the economy will continue moving and business will keep running,” he said.

“Our workforce is an important asset for our nation, and we are faced with an extraordinary situation whereby a huge number of companies are in an uncertain direction. They either can operate or are forced to shutter,” he said.

The government has allocated RM322.5 billion for the 2021 Budget, or 20.6 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, higher than the previous year’s allocation of RM297 billion.

The Budget is aimed at addressing Covid-19 related setbacks and spurring domestic economic activities.

The 2021 Budget is seen as vital for both the suffering economy and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, whose position is under threat from the Opposition and cracks within his own coalition.

A defeat of the Budget 2021 would amount to a no-confidence vote for Muhyiddin, and would drive the country into worsened political instability.

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