On Tuesday 28th of June, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that in conjunction with the Economic Recovery and People’s Protection Package (PEMULIH), the government plans to roll out several forms of financial aid valuing up to RM150 Billion.
Here is a breakdown of what you need to know about the PEMULIH initiative.
#1: Prihatin Rakyat via Cash Handouts
BPR 3.0: The government announced the People and Economic Strategic Empowerment Programme Plus (PEMERKASA Plus) that allocates financial aid to all existing Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) recipients. It was stated that:
- households earning less than RM2,500 will receive RM500
- households earning between RM2,501 and RM5,000 will receive RM300
- single B40s will receive RM100
Payments of this one-off cash handout are expected to be paid at the end of June.
Bantuan Khas COVID -19 (BKC): In addition to BPR, 11 million households, senior citizens, and singles in the B40 and M40 income groups will receive a total of RM4.6 billion worth of Bantuan Khas COVID-19 (BKC).
- Households struggling with hard cord poverty will receive a total of RM1,300. This will be dispersed in: August (RM500), November (RM500) and December 2021 (RM300)
- Hardcore poor singles will receive RM200 in August and RM300 in November
- B40 households will receive RM800 (RM500 August & RM300 December) in total whilst B40 singles will receive RM200 in August
- M40 households will receive RM250 payout in August, and individuals will receive RM100.
Aiding the Unemployed, Fresh Graduates, Informal Workers: The Prime Minister also announced that those who have lost their source of income in 2021 or are unemployed will receive RM500 in October after their Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation’s (SOCSO) data is analyzed. Fresh graduate and informal workers who are not enlisted under SOCSO can apply for aid through MyFutureJobs and receive RM300. The government also plans to distribute a RM1,500 cash handout to 20,000 disabled people who have been retrenched or lost their source of income.
One-off Cash Aid for tour guides and drivers: He also stated that 17,000 registered tour guides; 40,000 taxi drivers; 11,000 school bus drivers; 4,000 express bus drivers and 62,000 charter and e-hailing drivers would all receive a one-off cash payment of RM500, to be paid in July.
#2: I – Citra Initiative
Through this movement, 12.6 million EPF members will be able to withdraw up to RM5,000 at a fixed rate of RM1,000 per month for five months. Applications for the withdrawal can be made on 15 July, can payments are expected to be made in August.
#3: Holding off Education Loans
Borrowers of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) can choose to delay their loan repayments for three months. Recipients of Federal Education Loans, under the Public Service Department, can opt for a six-month postponement. MARA Education Loans can be postponed for three months or rescheduled with monthly instalments of as low as RM100 over 12 months. The Skills Development Fund Corp, otherwise known as PTPK, has also allowed a three-month moratorium.
#4: Essential Items, Utilities & Loans
Controlling Prices: Whilst cash handouts are helpful, the government has pledged to maintain the prices of RON95 petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas. There is also a cap on the cost of cooking oil at RM30 for every 5kg.
Discounting Electricity Bills: A promise of 5% – 40% discount on electricity bills till September has been made. These discounts will be based on individual usage with a limit of 900kW/hour. The lower the usage the higher the discount.
Free 1GB Daily Data: Major telcos will be extending the free 1GB daily data until 31 December 2021.
Loan Moratoriums: Individuals that fall under the B40 or Unemployed category are entitled to a blanket moratorium across all income brackets, with the support of the banking industry. The people can also choose for a moratorium on insurance premium payments and takaful contributions.
It is important to note that according to Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul, banks will waive the compounded interest and penalty charges incurred during the six-month loan moratorium. However, the moratorium is not interest free.
Applications for moratoriums will begin on 7 July with individual banks.
#5: Easing Business Loans and Employer Burdens
Loan Moratoriums: In order to aid local businesses, all Micro-Entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that were forced to close during the recent Movement Control Order, will be provided with a choice between an automatic three-month loan moratorium or a reduction in loan repayment of 50% for six months. Entrepreneurs under MARA are also given a choice of a three-month moratorium or extending their loan period of up to 36 months. Those that rent MARA premises will receive a 30% discount till the end of the year.
Financial Aid and Grants: The government will also help employers by providing RM600 in wage subsidies for every 500 employees under each employer for four months in efforts to minimize retrenchment. Roughly a million SMEs and Micro-enterprises were to receive RM1,000 in mid-June and another RM500 in July. The Prime Minister also announced that the government will assist these local businesses by managing their cash flow through the Prihatin Special Grant (GKP).
Explore Our Sources:
- F. Aman. (2021). PEMULIH: Golongan Miskin Tegar, B40, M40 Dapat Bantuan Khas Covid-19 Bermula Ogos – PM. Astro Awani. Link.
- M. V. Ang. (2021). Here Are the Highlights of PM Muhyiddin’s Pemulih Speech. SAYS. Link.
- N. Daim, D. Chan & M. Basyir. (2021). Additional RM2.1b for Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat, optional loan moratorium – Muhyiddin. New Straits Times. Link.
- A. N. Idris. (2021). PM Announces Automatic Blanket Loan Repayments Moratorium for Individuals, i-Citra EPF Withdrawal Initiative. The Edge Market. Link.