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PRIHATIN, PENJANA aid for businesses

By August 26, 2020No Comments

References: https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/07/26/prihatin-penjana-aid-for-businesses/

Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz

KUCHING: In its effort to assist the rakyat in facing difficulties arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has made rapid strides via the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) and the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA).

According to the 14th Implementation Report on PRIHATIN and PENJANA released earlier this week, some of the updates include the government disbursing some RM11.14 billion to 10.41 million recipients under the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) as of July 20, 2020.

Additionally, RM139 million has been approved to be distributed to 160,000 successful BPN applicants.

“Out of the amount, RM125 million has been credited to the bank accounts of 146,000 recipients while the balance will be disbursed via cash handouts through Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN),” said Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz in the report.

He added that RM3 billion will be distributed to 4.28 million recipients under phase three of the Cost of Living Assistance (BSH) 2020 programme starting July 24. This will involve some 3.75 million households, 530,000 single individuals aged between 40 and 59 as well as 3.8 million children of BSH recipients aged 18 and below.

Helping those in need

Under PENJANA’s Objectives 1: Empowering the People, as of July 20, 2020 some 7,695 claims amounting to more than RM588,000 were approved through the PEKA B40 Health Scheme.

Under the My30 programme during the period under review, some 119,844 passes were sold, an increase from 112,500 passes.

The government subsidies for My30 passes now stood at RM20.4 million, an increase from 19.13 million.

“Thirdly is the Hiring Incentive and Training Programme. Since registration was opened on June 15, 2020, some 5,055 workers have secured jobs. This includes 3,500 under the age of 40, 800 between 40 and 60 years old, 55 people who were less able, and 700 apprentices,” explained Zafrul.

Under the Social Assistance for Easily Affected Groups, a one-off assistance of RM300 has been paid to 184,538 recipients involving a payment of RM55.36 million.

Some 1,800 recipients had also received aid amounting to RM540,000 under the Home Assistance Services. Payments to this group as well as to single mothers will continue until the end of July 2020, Zafrul said.

Making strides in boosting business

Under its “Third Objectives: Stimulating the Economy”, the government allocated RM1.2 billion for the Dana Penjana Nasional (DPN) under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance.

He said that RM600 million investment capital from international investors who entered into strategic joint ventures with domestic investors, were matched with RM600 million in investment injections from the Government.

“Until the closing date on July 14, strategic applications worth more than RM600 million have been received. The applications are undergoing an evaluation process and the results will be announced in August,” he said.

He also called on the people to spend for the country through the Buy Made-in-Malaysia Products as suggested by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The campaign is expected to benefit local companies and boost the purchase of local goods, targeting sales of more than RM500 million for the period of July until December this year.

“The private sector has been advised to tolerate tenants who face cash flow constraints so that they have more space to redevelop their businesses.”

SME Soft Loans Fund as of July 20, 2020 (RM billion)

PRIHATIN Objective 2: Supporting Businesses

The Prihatin Special Grant for Micro SMEs approved is worth about RM1.64 billion and has benefited 545,000 Micro SMEs. From this sum, RM1.47 billion has been disbursed and this reflects an achievement rate of 90 per cent.

As of July 20, RM7.82 billion had been approved under the Wage Subsidy Programme which has benefitted more than 2.55 million employees while the total disbursement stood at RM7.39 billion benefitting 2.54 million employees.

SOCSO has uploaded the list of employers who received the subsidy under this programme. This measure is in response to public complaints on employers who took the subsidies and still laid off or reduced their employees’ salaries.

The SME Soft Loan Funds administered by Bank Negara Malaysia has so far seen a total financing amount approved by local banks and officially accepted by SMEs at RM9.23 billion, benefitting 20,815 SMEs.

This amount includes funds from the Special Relief Facility, Automation & Digitalisation Facility, All-Economic Sector Facility and Agrofood facility.

PENJANA Objective 2: Boosting Business

The TEKUN Business Recovery Scheme (TBRS) has approved a total of 259 applications worth RM1.92 million as of July 20, 2020.

The SME-Go Scheme to assist the cash flow of SMEs is a financing facility provided by the SME Bank to contractors who were awarded small government projects under the Economic Stimulus Package (PRE) 2020 and Prihatin stimulus package. The purpose of SME-Go Scheme financing is for the working capital requirements for the contract. The financing margin is up to 100 per cent of the contract cost.

As of July 20, 2020, applications from 20 companies amounting to RM46.14 million have been received for the RM500 million-SME Technology Transformation Fund loan initiative launched this month, to assist SMEs in digital application or automation.

The Smart Automation Grant (SAG), totalled RM100 million, is capped at up to RM1 million per company. Grants are offered by the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

The RM500-million SME Technology Transformation Fund launched this month is meant to help SMEs adopt digitalisation or automation to achieve higher productivity and cost-efficiency. As of 20 July 2020, applications from 20 companies amounting to RM46.14 million have been received.

In supporting the arts, culture, entertainment, events and exhibitions sectors, the newly launched initiatives are through MyCreative Ventures Sdn Bhd and the Cultural Economy Development Agency (CENDANA). This incentive reflects the government’s recognition of the value and potential of the creative and entertainment industries, and its intention to help industry players recover from the impact of Covid 19.

Feedback from the public

Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Ahmad

“During the Movement Control Order (MCO), we lost our sales and revenue as our staff could not work and some of our ongoing works had to be postponed due to the MCO.

“We heard that the government is helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and applied for the Wage Subsidy Programme, which granted us a total of RM40,000 to pay our employees’ salaries.

“I am really thankful to the Prime Minister and the government for introducing this scheme and subsidy under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin) because they really help the SMEs. Without this aid, it would be quite a burden for SMEs.”

— Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Ahmad, Managing Director, Buruuj Engineering Sdn Bhd, Kuching Founded in 2015, Buruuj Engineering Sdn Bhd offers mechanical works and services as well as supply of mechanical parts. The company currently employs 38 workers.

Herinawati Drahman

“During the Movement Control Order (MCO), we were not allowed to operate. As secretaries, our core business is handling client files and interacting with them, but this was made harder due to the MCO.

“We acclimatised by engaging them through social media and video conferencing apps to continue in providing our services.

“The Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) helped greatly by reducing our overall expenses during MCO as certain matters could not be handled by the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia or Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) initially at the beginning, leading to a loss of income for us as filings could not be done.

“Prihatin assisted by lightening our financial burden by allowing us to claim partial staff salaries from the Social Security Organisation (Socso) through the Wage Subsidy Programme and the Special Prihatin Grant of RM3,000, which was awarded to companies earning below RM300,000 gross per annum.”

— Herinawati Drahman, Director, Applegate Corporate Services Sdn Bhd, Kuching. Founded in 2008, Applegate Corporate Services Sdn Bhd is a certified professional secretarial firm with a diverse range of companies under its firm. There are five staff under the company.

Aidah Libang

“I faced my biggest challenge when my sales and income dropped tremendously due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“Sales of my beauty products were also quite limited as movement was restricted for cash on delivery services outside of my district. Fortunately, the Government introduced the Wage Subsidy Programme.

“So, the financial burden of companies like mine has eased because, at least, it minimises our wage costs. The programme also helped entrepreneurs to continue with their businesses while maintaining their staff.

— Aidah Libang, Owner, Ladies Beauty SPA, Mukah Opened in 2010, Ladies Beauty SPA offers beauty treatments and services. It currently employs two staff.



Hwang Chin Ann

“Our business was badly hit during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period due to shortage of stock supply, shorter operation hours, and less customer volume.

“We also faced transportation problems as inter-district travel was banned, which interrupted stock delivery to our clients.

“We applied for the Wage Subsidy Programme, which had benefitted 24 of our employees. Furthermore when we applied for it, the government had been prompt in processing our application and this helped us a lot.

“We are very thankful to the government for their helpful and kind assistance as well as our customers for their support during this critical period.”

— Hwang Chin Ann, Chief Executive Officer, SSJ Pharma Sdn Bhd, Sarikei SSJ Pharma Sdn Bhd was established in 2019 and is involved in the retail and wholesale business.

Chen Kee Ting

“Since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced on March 18 and subsequently the Conditional Movement Control Order, sales at my bakery fell more than 60 per cent from mid-March until the end of May. We applied for the Wage Subsidy Programme and managed to get assistance to help ease our burden in terms of expenses such as the salary of our employees, retail fee, and utilities. The programme introduced by the Government helped us from laying off our senior employees.”

— Chen Kee Ting, Owner, 15 Minutes Bake Sdn Bhd, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Established in 2014, 15 Minutes Bake Sdn Bhd is a bakery and currently employs 15 staff.

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