As MCO gets extended again, so is its impact on Malaysians. The government has now announced additional financial aid under what’s called Pemulih to lessen the brunt.
This round, RM150 billion’s worth of aid package has been allocated to help citizens and businesses. Based on PM Muhyiddin’s speech, we’ve compiled a list of the aid that will be provided to SMEs in the nation.
1. Micro-credit payment scheme
There will be an additional allocation of RM1.1 billion through a micro-credit payment scheme by BSN (RM500 million), TEKUN Nasional (RM100 million), and Agrobank (RM500 million).
2. Additional funds of RM500
The implementation of Geran Khas Prihatin or GKP has supported business survival among small traders, especially those who are still not allowed to operate.
Under PEMERKASA+, eligible recipients have already received their GKP 3.0 payment of about RM1,000 two weeks ago, and will get another RM500 in the middle of July later. Micro-SMEs will also be receiving additional assistance of RM500 in September and RM500 in November.
3. Help for SMEs to purchase or subscribe to digital systems
An additional RM100 million under the SME Digitalisation Grant for SMEs and micro-SMEs will be granted for them to get matching grants of up to RM5,000 for the purchase or subscription of digital systems.
4. Extension of electricity bill discounts
There will be 10% discounts for October to December’s electricity bills for affected economic sectors.
5. Wage Subsidy Programme
Through the Wage Subsidy Programme 4.0 initiative, the government will accommodate up to 500 employees for each employer at a rate of RM600 per employee for a period of 4 months.
This will be condensed to 2 months for every sector in the 2nd phase of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), and another 2 months for the sectors categorised as negative in the 3rd phase of the NRP.
Previously, the implementation of the Wage Subsidy Programme was only applicable for employees with a salary lower than RM4,000. The 4.0 version of the initiative will have no such conditions. This means employers can apply for the programme even for employees who earn more than RM4,000.
6. One-off payment and tax exemptions for the travel sector
The 5,335 travel agencies under MOTAC will receive a RM3,000 one-off payment as well as travel and service tax exemptions until the end of the year.
7. Supporting the arts sector
To assist those in the creative arts sector, there will be an RM100 million allocated which will cover incentives for production, digital content, job opportunities, upskilling programmes, and protection initiatives under PERKESO as well as the acquisition of products for production purposes in television, radio and song creation.
8. A 6-month moratorium
B40, M40, and T20 individual borrowers as well as micro-businesses will be receiving a 6-month moratorium. There won’t be requirements like salary cuts or job losses, and there will be no need for documentation when making applications.
This moratorium will begin on July 7, and borrowers can just apply, sign an agreement on the amendments to the related loan conditions, and automatic approval will be given. SMEs will be subjected to checks and approval by the banks though.
9. Levy exemption
A HRD Corp levy exemption for a period of 2 months will be given automatically to employers who are currently unable to operate during the MCO.
In addition, employers from new sectors included under Perbadanan Sumber Manusia Berhad Act 2001 will be provided with an extension of a levy exemption until December 31, 2021.
10. PenjanaKerjaya Programme
The PenjanaKerjaya programme that is due to end in June will be extended with several improvements. This includes reducing the salary eligibility limit from RM1,500 to RM1,200 for the “Malaysianisation” programme which gives incentives to employers in replacing foreign workers with local ones.
The employment contract period will also be reduced from 12 months to 6 months for employees aged 50 and above, the disabled, and ex-prisoners.
11. One-off assistance for the sports sector
Businesses in the sports industry such as gyms, bowling, futsal operators, and so on have been greatly affected, yet can only resume operations as early as the third phase of MCO later. Therefore, the government has agreed to provide one-off assistance of RM3,000 to them.
12. PUPUK to promote digitalisation and cashless transactions
To support the digitalisation agenda and promote cashless transactions, the government has developed PUPUK as a comprehensive initiative to which it will allocate RM200 million for micro-SMEs and RM100 million for SMEs. Under it, this will take place:
- Firstly, continuing the Shop Malaysia Online and GoeCommerce Onboarding campaigns targeting more than 300,000 micro-entrepreneurs such as bazaar traders, farmers markets, night markets, and stalls as well as handicraft entrepreneurs to shift their businesses online and use e-cash systems;
- Secondly, allocating RM100 million under the SME Digitalisation Grant to enable SME entrepreneurs to earn a matching grant of up to RM5,000 for the purchase of systems or digital platform subscriptions;
- Thirdly, encouraging the participation of micro-SMEs to venture into trading platforms through PUPUK which is led by SKMM. Strategic cooperation between digital platform providers, telecommunications companies as well as Pusat Internet Komuniti will be empowered to help rural entrepreneurs get involved in the digital economy; and
- Fourthly, empowering agri-entrepreneurs especially in rural areas to use the latest technology under the Program Digitalisasi dan Transformasi Sektor Pertanian. This programme which will be implemented through the cooperation of MDEC and Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan will identify farmers with the potential to switch to new technological platforms.
13. Additional RM2 billion to help SMEs
Through Pemulih, BNM will add another RM2 billion to the remaining RM6.6 billion from the RM25.1 billion fund set aside for new SME applicants, making the balance of this fund amount to RM8.6 billion. This fund is expected to be able to meet the various needs of SMEs and micro-entrepreneurs in easing the cash flow constraints of their business.
Featured Image Credit: PM Muhyiddin Yassin’s Facebook page