Government disburses RM11.06 billion in cash aid

Kuala Lumpur, 16 July 2020- The total disbursements of Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) from the government increased 1.28% to RM11.06 billion as at July 13, from RM10.92 billion last week.

This involved 10.4 million recipients compared to 10.24 million recipients received last week.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said RM121 million had been disbursed to 141,000 recipients (appeal cases) from 160,000 approved appellants with an allocation of RM139 million.

The remaining balance were credit failure recipients and who were advised to go to Bank Simpanan Nasional for the disbursement in cash.

As at July 13, Tengku Zafrul said 4.43 million applications had been approved for the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) i-Lestari programme with the total cumulative withdrawal from April to July amounting to RM5.37 billion.

“It should be noted that EPF savings, including Account 2 savings, are retirement savings for the future. The public are advised to utilise the free Retirement Advisory Service (RAS) provided by the EPF to facilitate savings planning.

“This free service is also open to the public including non-EPF members,” Zafrul said in a statement on the 13th update of the Economic Stimulus Implementation and Coordination Unit Between National Agencies (LAKSANA) report on July 14.

He said the government had channelled cash assistance to 29,193 taxi drivers amounting to RM17.5 million for the first phase recipients (up to July 13).

Payment for the second phase recipients are expected to be made on July 17 that will benefit 5,000 drivers.

The government assistance is also extended to tour guides (7,484) with cash amounting to RM4.5 million, tour bus drivers (3,104) with RM2 million allocation that will begin distributing on July 17 and followed by school bus drivers (30,000) with the aid distribution process expected to be completed in August

Tengku Zafrul said the government had disbursed a total of RM1.64 billion for the PRIHATIN Special Grant (GKP), benefitting 545,000 micro small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as at July 13.

The disbursement included 22,148 approved appeals. Overall, the GKP disbursement rate is at 78%.

For the remaining 52,744 recipients with credit failure status, he said one of the reasons was inaccurate account information.

“For GKP recipients who have updated their bank account number, this payment is expected to be made on July 20, 2020,” he said.

As at July 13,  the government had approved RM7.79 billion for the wage subsidy programme that will benefit more than 2.53 million employees.

The total disbursement was RM6.82 billion, which benefited 2.49 million employees.

The programme is aimed at facilitating employers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to continue with their regular operations following the crisis and prevent workers from losing their jobs and sources of income.

On the EPF’s COVID-19 Assistance Programme (e-CAP) for employers, the government received a total of 39,323 applications and 11,370 applications were approved, amounting to RM76.1 million in terms of employers’ contribution, up to July 13.

Meanwhile, total financing for the SME Soft Loan Funds administered by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), that had been approved by local banks and officially accepted by SMEs, was RM9.1 billion, benefitting 20,545 SMEs.

“This amount includes funds from the Special Relief Facility, Automation and Digitalisation Facility, All-Economic Sector Facility and Agrofood facility,” said Tengku Zafrul.

Under the BSN micro credit scheme, a total of 10,264 applications were approved with loans valued at RM344.4 million.

Of the amount approved, RM223 million were disbursed to 6,200 SMEs.

For the TEKUN programme, he said 25,502 applications were approved, involving a total of RM194.63 million.

From the amount approved, payment was made to 22,989 SMEs involving a total of RM171 million.

Tengku Zafrul said moratorium on loan repayment by financial institutions were estimated at RM55.2 billion since it was came into force on April 1.

“Of this figure, a total of RM19.3 billion was utilised by the business sector, while RM35.9 billion was utilised by the rakyat. The moratorium is aimed at providing relief to the rakyat and businesses in need for six months,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul said the implementation rate was high at 91% for one-off cash assistance including aid to tertiary students, e-hailing and taxi drivers, government retirees and others, amounting to disbursements of RM14.3 billion.

For initiatives such as electricity bill discount, wage subsidy (original scheme), moratorium, e-CAP EPF and others, the implementation will take three to six months with a combined allocation of RM126.4 billion.

He said the implementation rate was at 50% from 47% last week, adding that the government was halfway through implementing these measures.

Under the MY30 programme, a total of 112.5 million passes had been sold as at July 13, involving government subsidy of RM19.13 million.

As at July 13, a total of 129,169 vacancies had been advertised, and 159,591 job seekers were registered through the MYFutureJobs portal under SOCSO’s Workers’ Hiring Programme, PenjanaKerjaya.

“Between June 15 and July 10, a total of 5,300 job seekers were successfully employed,” he said.

-Money Compass