Experts are calling the PEMULIH package announced by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin ‘as timely’ and ‘unexpectedly a huge stimulus’. These are positive signs that the government has been listening the the people and reacted accordingly to ease the burden while we battle the current wave of Covid 19 outbreak.
Both public and private sectors will be chipping in to help the nation recover under Phase 1 of the National Recovery Plan while the RM150 billion PEMULIH aid will assist to steer the country till end of the year. In supporting the initiatives, BPMB commended on the comprehensive form of assistance provided and the timing as it reinforces the Government’s commitment to aid the Rakyat.
PEMULIH will see a direct fiscal injection of RM10 billion is an extension to the relief measures for the people and stimulus for the businesses. The three main thrusts, (i) Continuing the Prihatin Rakyat Agenda, (ii)Supporting Businesses and (iii) Increasing Vaccination Rate reflect the commitment by the Government to strike a balance between preventing a sharper economic slowdown and improving public health conditions.
Among the key relief measures are the continuity of one-off cash assistances to low income groups, particularly the hardcore poor and the M40. At the same time, the Government has also reaffirmed its commitment to ensure that the retail fuel prices are to remain at the current level while the floor price for cooking oil will be capped by a price control mechanism tied to the CPO prices. On top of that, electricity bills will be given discounts between 5 to 40%. Together with the introduction of i-Citra and a 6-month blanket loan moratorium, these measures will support recovery in consumer spending in the second half of 2021.
Bank Penbangunan applauds the latest relief packages for businesses. Apart from the blanket moratorium, the Government has unveiled the Prihatin Special Grant 4.0 which will benefit 1 million micro SMEs with a RM500 cash transfer in September and November.
The Government will also extend the Wage Subsidy Programme to help employers which will benefit 2.5 million workers including those with a salary aboveRM4,000 per month. At the same time, the Government pledges to increase local employment by lowering the minimum salary requirement to RM1,200 per month. The introduction of the Program Pemerkasaan Pendigitalan Usahawan Kecil (“PUPUK”) to support digitalisation and cashless transactions among the SMEs and MSMEs is also well-timed. This will help the affected enterprises cope with losses caused
by the lockdown as well as move forward to adopt technology and rebound stronger.
As a development financial institution, BPMB is cognisant of the need for all industry players to play a more active role in the meantime to help our community weather the storm.