The Associated Chinese Chambers and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) has suggest six main issues for Putrajaya to consider in regards to assistance for businesses.
In a statement released by the Chambers, the considerations comes after a meeting held by the Finance Ministry, chaired by the Minister of Finance, Tengku Zafrul to discuss various pressing issues regarding the survival of SMEs and corporates.
The Chambers has urged for Putrajaya’s enhanced financial assistance and relief for businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak period as well as for post Covid-19 recovery period.
“Acute cash flows and the collapse in revenue would push many businesses to the brink of bankruptcies, and hence cause massive layoffs and job reductions. Rising number of retrenchments not only cause hardships to households but also inflict downward spiral effects on domestic demand,” the Chamber said in the statement.
Additionally, the Chamber has also encouraged the Ministry of International Trade and Imports (MITI) to expediate the approval of backlog cases as businesses are severely disrupted as orders are waiting to be filed.
Members of the Chambers have also requested to allow approved industries to operate on 50 percent of workers’ capacity to meet orders, where some were given about 30 percent workforce.
“The manufacturing sector and export-oriented industries, construction, mining and e-Commerce should be allowed for continuity in operations,” the Chamber said, as they stressed the mentioned sectors help in holding up the economy.
The statement issued also highlighted on the Employment Retention Programme (ERP) and wage subsidy directive in which the Chamber suggested for amendments to be made to the directive.
“The Government should amend the directive to “encourage” not “compulsory” to pay full salaries. This will give the SME flexibility to deal with the issue, especially those FW. We intend to pay FW 50% salaries only during MCO. So, the government must review their directive asking us to pay full salaries to all employees during MCO period,” the Chamber stated.
In terms of wages , the Chambers has suggested to increase the amount of wage subidy to RM 1,200 and to raise the duration of wage subsidy to six months from three months.
“For the wage subsidy of RM600 per employee, no conditions should be attached with respect no retrenchment/termination of the services of employees; no unpaid leave; no reduce the employees’ existing salaries,” the Chamber added.
Further proposals included suspension of SOSCO, EIS and Foreign Workers’ levy till end year and a complete exemption or a three to 3 percent to 4 percent cut in EPF contribution rate till end year.
ACCCIM has also proposed a special payroll loan facility in order to assist companies facing difficulties to pay salaries and wages in efforts to help preserve jobs and income.
In addition to that, the statement has also included a proposal to grant an extension of time on the filing of companies’ annual returns, audited accounts and all online or over-the counter lodgment of other secretarial statutory documents and to ease the cash flow, all the relevant tax payments should deferred to Dec 31 without any penalties.
As for the property sector,the proposals made by ACCCIM was to allow for an extension of time or waiver of Liquidated Ascertained Damages (LADs) and to revert the Real Property Gains rate back to zero percent from 5 percent and 10 percent for the disposal of properties held for more than five years.
The Chambers has also proposed for the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) to expedite the Approval of HAD Account (Regulation 9) Excess Money Release in less than one month.