KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — The government said today it is injecting RM1 billion into the tourism sector to help ensure businesses remain viable and competitive in the new normal amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that the tourism financing scheme under the economic recovery plan dubbed Penjana will be made available to help small and medium-sized tourism companies’ transformation initiatives.
He said more details of this fund will be announced by Bank Negara Malaysia in July 2020.
Muhyiddin said the tourism sector is among the hardest hit industries and will stand to benefit from tax incentives, such as tourism tax exemption from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, and extension of service tax exemption for hotels until June 30, 2021.
The sector will also receive an extension of income tax relief of RM1,000 for tourism expenses to December 31, 2021, as well as an extension of deferment for tax installment payments for the same date.
The wage subsidy programme, which is applicable to the tourism sector, will also be extended for a further three months with subsidy of RM600 per employee for all eligible employers.
The current wage subsidy program will also be enhanced to allow employers receiving wage subsidies to implement reduced work weeks and pay.
The tourism sector will also benefit from the additional measures to allow employers to receive wage subsidy for employees on unpaid leave, subject to employees receiving the subsidy directly.