KUALA LUMPUR (March 27): The government is allocating RM250 billion for a stimulus package to counter the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic to its economy, which includes the RM20 billion it previously announced in late February.
This booster package is aimed at easing the burden of Malaysians of “all backgrounds” during this critical period, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today.
So, on top of the RM20 billion previously announced, the government is setting aside RM128 billion for the people’s welfare, RM100 billion for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and RM2 billion to boost the country’s economy.
“This comprehensive package provides immediate assistance to ease the burden shouldered by the public. No matter who you are, you will benefit from this economic stimulus package. As I have mentioned before, no one will be left out,” he said in a live telecast this afternoon.
Highlights of his speech include:
- RM128 billion that will be used to protect people's welfare, RM100 billion to support businesses, including SMEs, and RM2 billion to support domestic economy. The remainder RM20 billion has been announced in the first stimulus package.
- RM1 billion additional allocation for Ministry of Health for purchase of equipment
- RM8 million fund to cover COVID-19 testing costs of up to RM300 for all insurance policy and takaful holders
- Deferment of insurance premium payment for those affected by COVID-19 outbreak
- RM10 billion allocation for one-off payment to support both B40 and M40 households
- One-off RM1,600 financial aid for 4 million households earning RM4,000 per month and below
- One-off RM1,000 financial assistance for 1.1 million households earning RM4,000-RM8,000 per month
- RM530 million allocation to provide 15-50% discounts on electricity bills for usage of up to 600kw for 6 months from April
- Free internet for all users starting April 1 until end of MCO, with RM600 million allocation
- RM100 million allocation to set up storage and distribution food centres
- Govt to subsidise RM600/month for workers earning below RM4,000 for three months, at companies whose income has more than halved since Jan 1
- Additional RM4.5 billion for SMEs, micro entrepreneurs
- Deferment of income tax payment for SMEs for three months starting April 1
- Exemption of HRDF levies for all sectors for six months, starting April 1
- Interest income of banks will only be taxed after the moratorium period
- Moratorium on loans to be expanded to include loans from TEKUN, MARA, cooperatives as well as govt agencies that grant loans to SMEs, starting April 1
- Projects to be executed include infrastructure projects at FELDA settlements and others (RM600 million), the repair and upgrade of schools in Sabah and Sarawak (RM350 million) and repairs for housing for the poor (RM150 million).
- All projects under Budget 2020 to proceed, including East Coast Rail Link, MRT2 and the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP)
- All ministries to review their budgets, so costs can be reduced amid the current challenging climate
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