The country has been put into lockdown again and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday announced the government’s latest economic stimulus package following the MCO 3.0.
Called PEMERKASA+, it’s worth RM40 billion in total and includes RM5 billion direct fiscal injection, with 3 main goals:
- To increase the capacity of the public healthcare system
- Continue the previous welfare programmes under the Prihatin Rakyat agenda
- Support businesses in weathering the stricter lockdown
Here, we’ll cover the scheme’s 3rd goal, which will help SMEs and corporations from essential and non-essential services in keeping business afloat.
Aid for non-essential services
1. Automatic moratorium for SMEs
SMEs not operating during MCO 3.0 are eligible for a 3-month automatic loan moratorium. This scheme is also extended to individuals in B40 groups who have been affected by job losses.
Businesses and individuals may choose to pick up the moratorium or pay back their loans at a 50% lowered rate over 6 months. This will help approximately 5 million borrowers with a total value of RM30 million.
2. Aid for travel and entertainment businesses
A 10% electricity bill discount from July to September 2021 will be given to hotel operators, travel and tourism agencies, shopping complexes and premises, convention centers, theme parks, and local airline offices.
Additionally, a one-off aid valued at RM68 million will be provided to tourist guides and sightseeing bus drivers, who will receive RM500 each.
3. Rental discounts on business premises
A 30% discount is given on the rental of business premises from May to July 2021 for MARA entrepreneurs unable to operate their businesses during the MCO.
A special tax cut is also given to building owners who provide a further 6-month rental discount of at least 30% to SME tenants.
For all businesses
4. Special Prihatin Grant for SMEs
The Special Prihatin Grant (GKP) for SMEs and micro-enterprises has been raised to RM1,500. A rough 1 million eligible enterprises will receive RM1,000 in mid-June and a further RM500 in July.
5. Extended wage subsidy programme
A 1-month extension for the wage subsidy programme under PERKESO worth RM1.5 billion will be available for 2.5 million eligible employees and 200,000 employers. The initiative is capped at 500 employees per application.
6. Access to microcredit and SME loan facilities
Small businesses, street vendors, and micro-enterprises will have access to RM1.5 billion in microcredit facilities. A 3% interest rate will be provided by Bank Simpanan Nasional, TEKUN, MARA, SME Corp, and Yayasan Pembangunan Ekonomi Islam Malaysia.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will also add RM2 billion to its SME loan facilities with a 3.5% interest rate, bringing the total amount available to RM7 billion.
7. Exemption from mandatory levy
Employers registered with the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) will be exempted from paying the mandatory levy in June 2021.
8. Penalty appeals to the IRB and SSM
The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) will consider penalty appeals and postponement of tax payments until 2022 for affected taxpayers and businesses.
The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) will allow public companies listed on Bursa Malaysia an extension to submit their financial statements and hold their annual general meetings at a later time.
SSM will also waive late fees to renew business licenses of SMEs, micro-enterprises, sole proprietorships and partnerships until December 31, 2021.
The government plans to improve the existing law enabling relief measures to extend legal protections against failure to service contractual obligations to December 31, 2021.
9. Schemes for bus, taxi, e-hailing services
The government launched a bus and taxi hire purchase rehabilitation scheme worth RM1 billion, where eligible bus and taxi operators may get a 12-month moratorium and extended repayment period of 36 months.
Sales tax will be exempted on imported completely knocked-down (CKD) and completely built-up (CBU) passenger vehicles until 31 December 2021. It has been extended from June 30, 2021.
- You can read about previous economic stimulus packages here.