Amidst the pandemic, the Malaysian Government has announced that it is continuing measures to revive the economy.

Dubbed the PEMERKASA programme, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says the government will embark on several economic revival programmes such as increasing SME assistance, access to micro credit financing, and extending the wage subsidy programme.

The programme follows the PRIHATIN packages announced last year collectively worth RM260 billion.

Increasing SME Assistance

Muhyiddin said the government would allocate RM700mil to extend the wage subsidy programme 3.0 for another three months by focusing on a more targeted approach.

“This is especially for the tourism sector, the retail sector as well as other businesses that have been shut down during the movement control order (MCO) such as gyms and spas,” he said.

“This initiative is expected to help 400,000 workers and 37,000 employers,” he explained.

Eligible SMEs will also receive a one-off payment of RM1,000 each, under the Prihatin Special Grant (GKP3.0) in order to help the group pick up their business operations. According to Muhyiddin, GKP3.0 is expected to benefit more than one million entrepreneurs.

Application for GKP3.0 will begin on April 1 for SMEs which had never received GKP (introduced under the previous economic stimulus packages).

Micro-Credit Financing

For micro-credit financing, Muhyiddin said the government will provide an additional allocation of RM500 million to the programmes under BSN, Tekun, Mara and SMECorp. In particular, eligible applicants can apply for loans of up to RM250,000 from SMECorp at an interest rate from as low as 3 per cent.

Furthermore, through BSN, a fund of RM300 million would be allocated, with the maximum financing amount of RM50,000, with interest rate reduced from 3.5 per cent to 3 per cent.

Aiding Workers

Following the launch of the Perkeso PenjanaKerjaya 2.0 programme to aid those who had lost their jobs, Muhyiddin said that the government would expand the worker hiring incentive under this programme that will encompass temporary workers as well as gig workers.

Employers who offer short-term work or gig services platform providers registered with Perkeso will receive RM200 for each worker hired or placed.

Apprenticeship programmes under PenjanaKerjaya will also be extended for another six months in which an apprentice will receive an incentive of RM800 during the apprenticeship period.

The government will also allocate RM300 million to benefit 60,000 workers where every worker will receive RM600 a month for a maximum of six months.

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