The RM250 billion stimulus package at a glance

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / pic by BERNAMA

Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced a RM250 billion social and economic package to ease the impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

The unprecedented second stimulus package is over ten times more than the initial package announced last month. The additional package also amounts to over three-quarters of the government’s RM297 billion budget for 2020.

Muhyiddin described the situation as unprecedented in Malaysia’s history. “This unprecedented situation of course requires unprecedented measures,” he said.

These are some of the key components of the stimulus package. 

Improving household cash flow

  • Households with a monthly income of less than RM4,000 a month will receive RM1,600 to be disbursed in stages – RM800 in April and another RM800 in May
  • Households with a monthly income of RM4,000-RM8,000 a month will receive RM1,000
  • Individuals aged above 21 who are single and earn less than RM2,000 a month will be eligible for a payment of RM800 to be disbursed in stages – RM 400 in April and the balance in May
  • Individuals aged above 21 who are single and earn RM2,000-RM4,000 a month will receive RM500

Additional funds for Ministry of Health, frontliners to fight Covid-19

  • The government has allocated an additional RM1 billion for the Ministry of Health in its fight against Covid-19 to purchase medical equipment and the recruitment of additional staff
  • Medical staff including doctors and nurses will receive a special allowance of RM600 a month from April 1 until the end of the pandemic
  • Members of the police, customs, immigration, armed forces and voluntary corps will also receive a special allowance of RM200 under the movement control order period

Assistance for students and vulnerable groups

  • Students in higher learning institutions will receive a one-off payment of RM200 each in May
  • Vulnerable groups including the elderly and homeless people will receive assistance in the form of food, medical equipment and shelter via non-governmental organisations worth RM25 million

Rebates on electricity tariffs

  • The government has allocated an additional RM530 million for rebates on electricity tariffs, in addition to the RM500 million allocated in the first stimulus package
  • This will include discounts of between 15% and 50% based on electricity usage with a maximum limit of 600 kilowatts per month. Households will continue to enjoy a discount of 2%. All discounts will take place for six months from April 1

Free internet

  • The telco industry will provide free internet access to all customers from April 1 until the end of the movement control order period. The move is expected to cost RM600 million
  • Additionally, RM400 million will be channelled to improve coverage and quality of the network

Civil servants and pensioners

  • Civil servants will receive a one-off payment of RM500 in April
  • Some 850,000 pensioners will also receive a one-off payment of RM500 in April

Food supply

  • The government will channel RM1 billion into a Food Security Fund to ensure the continuous supply of food in the country. The government has also allocated RM100 million to provide facilities for the storage and distribution of food

Subsidies on wages

  • The government will pay RM600 a month for three months to workers with a monthly income of less than RM4,000. This is for employees working in companies that have experienced their income declining by over 50% since Jan 1. This is to prevent mass layoffs
  • Employers must not retrench employees or direct them to take unpaid leave for three months. Employers are not prohibited from deducting employees’ existing salary

E-hailing and taxi drivers

  • E-hailing drivers will receive a one-off payment of RM500. The government has allocated RM60 million for this measure which will benefit 120,000 e-hailing drivers
  • In the previous stimulus package, the government has announced that taxi drivers will be eligible to a one-off payment of RM600 in April

For businesses and employers

  • The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will introduce the Employer Advisory Services (EAS) beginning April 15 to provide customised advisory support for employers, specifically on employers’ portion to EPF contributions. The EAS is expected to benefit over 480,000 SMEs and other corporations to ensure job continuity for 7.6 million employees
  • All sectors will be exempted from the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) levy payments for a period of six months beginning April. This measure is expected to improve company cash flows with a total savings of RM440 million
  • The government has also allowed the suspension of income tax instalment payments for all SMEs for three months from April 1. This will benefit 750,000 SMEs in Malaysia

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