By Hakim Mahari
KUALA LUMPUR, 28 June 2021: Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled a new economic stimulus package worth RM150 billion this evening in an attempt to mitigate the impacts of a continued total lockdown.
The “Pemulih” (Recovery) package will see a RM500 increase in the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) slated for June, and a cash transfer between RM100 to RM1,400 as part of the third BPR phase to be disbursed in September.
Poor and middle-class households will also be given additional cash through the newly set up Special Covid Aid (Bantuan Khas Covid or BKC) programme.
Under the programme, hardcore poor households will receive RM500 in August, October and December while singles will be given RM200 in August and RM300 in November.
For households in the B40 income bracket, an additional cash aid of RM500 and RM300 will be deposited in August and December.
M40 households, defined as those earning between RM4,850 to RM10,959 will also qualify for the programme, with a cash transfer of RM250 to be given in August, while singles in the same income bracket will receive RM100.
The BKC programme is expected to benefit 11 million households, with an allocation of RM4.6 billion.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin in a live address on the national television said his government was attuned to the problems faced by the public and small businesses as public health authorities impose another round of movement restrictions.
The Prime Minister said the RM150 billion Pemulih package will aim to sustain previous aid programmes, support businesses and ramp up vaccination and complement efforts to put the country back on the recovery path under the National Recovery Plan, currently in the first phase.
The first phase will seek to stabilise the rate of infections through strict mobility restrictions. Muhyiddin said the curbs will be gradually loosened in the second phase should case dip below 4,000 and public hospitals have more space to treat patients.
From the RM150 billion, just RM10 billion will be in direct fiscal spending, which will go directly towards the cash aid programmes.
On Sunday, Tan Sri Muhyiddin announced that Malaysia will extend phase 1 of its national lockdown beyond 28 June to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The restrictions were set to end on Monday but Tan Sri Muhyiddin said that they will not be eased until daily cases fell below 4,000.
He also told reporters that a more comprehensive financial assistance package will be extended to lower-income families as well as small and medium enterprises impacted by the pandemic.***
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