PM announces new RM15bil “Permai” stimulus package

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PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced the “Perlindungan Ekonomi dan Rakyat Malaysia (Permai)” assistance package worth RM15bil on Monday (Jan 18).

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In a special address, Muhyiddin said that the government had already announced four economic stimulus packages worth RM305bil previously.

Muhyiddin said a total of 22 initiatives will be implemented under Permai, anchored on the three main objectives namely – Combating the Covid-19 outbreak, safeguarding the welfare of the people, and supporting the business continuity.

As the daily cases of Covid-19 in the country spike to record levels, the Federal Territories and six states have been placed under the movement control order in an effort to break the chain of infections.

Malaysia’s new daily Covid-19 figure breached the 4,000 mark for the first time on Saturday (Jan 16), with a record 4,029 cases.

The country has reported 155,095 cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic last year.

Here are the highlights:

– A one-off payment of RM500 for all medical frontliners, RM300 to be given in the first quarter of 2021

– A total of 3,500 healthcare workers to be recruited, RM150mil allocated

– Three agreements signed with vaccine producers – first batch of vaccines to arrive next month

– RM800mil additional allocation for the Health Ministry (for supplies including additional reagents, screening kits as well as PPE equipment)

– RM200mil for the National Security Council and other relevant agencies

– RM3bil for the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme.

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– Moratorium facility, including extension of the moratorium and restructuring of loan repayment will continue to be offered by banks

– Credit counselling to be given by phone and online

– Tax exemptions for computers, handphones, and tablets worth below RM2,500 to be extended until Dec 31,2021

– Social and Welfare Department (JKM) will implement a food basket programme immediately which will provide essential food items worth RM100 for each eligible household, involving a total allocation of RM50mil

– Government will allocate RM25mil under the GLIC/GLC Disaster Relief Network which includes provision of community assistance, to the elderly, homeless, the disabled and flood victims

– Free 1 Gigabit data initiative will be extended until the end of April 2021.

– PTPTN borrowers affected by the pandemic or floods, can apply for a three-month PTPTN loan repayment moratorium. Application for this moratorium can be made until March 31,2021.- Wage subsidy programme 3.0 under Socso will be enhanced – all employers operating in the MCO states will be eligible to apply, irrespective of sector.

– Government allocates RM24mil to fund the full contribution under Socso’s Self-Employment Social Security Scheme for delivery riders.

– Government to expand the Prihatin Special Grant Plus assistance to cover 500,000 SMEs in the seven MCO states with a payment of RM1,000 each, while 300,000 SMEs in other states will receive RM500 each

– A one-off financial assistance of RM500 to 14,000 tourist guides as well as 118,000 drivers of taxis, school buses, tour buses, rental cars and e-hailing vehicles, with an additional allocation of RM66mil

– Special discount of 10% on electricity bills from January to March 2021 to six business sectors nationwide, comprising hotel operators, theme parks, convention centres, shopping malls, local airline offices as well as travel and tour agencies

– Electricity rebates to all TNB users, domestic and non-domestic at a rate of two sen per kilowatt-hour, which is equivalent to a reduction in electricity bills of up to 9% for a period of six months, from Jan 1 to June 30,2021.

– A Bus and Taxi Hire Purchase Rehabilitation Scheme introduced, where a 50% guarantee on financing from hire purchase and leasing companies will be provided for selected buses such as sightseeing buses, and taxis. A guarantee of RM1bil will be provided.

– Government agrees to extend the effective period of inability to perform contractual obligations to March 31,2021 under the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of CovidD-19 Act 2020, or Act 829 – The Star

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