RM620m in Prihatin aid for new applications paid out

by DASHVEENJIT KAUR/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

SOME RM620 million for new applications and appeals under the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional were paid out to 830,000 recipients, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (picture).

The number is out of the 2.3 million eligible recipients with a cumulative total payout of RM1.7 billion.

Following the extension of the appeal process announced last week, Tengku Zafrul said the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) is in full swing to process the appeals received and will give them due consideration.

“Applicants are advised to submit their appeals immediately, before the closing date which has been extended to May 31, 2020,” he said when presenting the sixth report of the Prihatin Rakyat economic stimulus package.

Bantuan Prihatin Nasional

As of May 17, its first phase, a total of 7.84 million recipients received a total payment of RM5.54 billion.

“The Phase 1 achievement rate is still at 96%, just like last week,” the finance minister said.

Payments under Phase 2 between May 4 and 22 benefit some 7.61 million recipients, totalling RM3.41 billion.

The previous goal was that payments, which are under the government’s RM260 billion stimulus package, are expected to be completed by the end of this week. However, due to some technical constraints, the payout will continue until May 22.

i-Lestari Programme

Under i-Lestari, depositors are allowed to withdraw RM500 per month for 12 months from their second Employees Provident Fund (EPF) account. As of May 17, 4.4 million applications were received where 3.9 million have been approved — an increase of 3.7 million from last week. All these will result in a total payout of RM1.83 billion a month.

Wage Subsidy

A total of RM2.24 billion worth of subsidies were approved as of May 17, benefitting 267 employers and involving two million workers.

“This is an increase in the amount approved of RM140 million for 100,000 workers from the previous week,” Tengku Zafrul said.

e-CAP for SMEs

The EPF received 20,771 applications for its Employer Covid-19 Assistance Programme (e-CAP) as of May 17, of which 3,168 have been approved, bringing the total amount to RM20.6 million.

Soft Loans for SMEs

As of May 17, the loan scheme saw banks approving RM5.8 billion in funds to help support 14,075 small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Special Prihatin Grant for SMEs

A grant catering to micro SMEs was closed for registration on May 15. Tengku Zafrul said the government is currently processing 642,979 applications for special Prihatin grant from SMEs. If all of them are approved, it will involve a payout of RM1.93 billion.

Micro Credit Scheme under BSN and Tekun

As of this week, RM145 million worth of loans have been approved for 3,537 micro SMEs under Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) and RM101 million for 12,104 micro SMEs under Tekun Nasional.

Small-scale Govt Projects

A list of finalised small-scale government projects is worth RM3.2 billion and the Finance Ministry has issued a circular on the procurement procedures, in line with the requirements of the Conditional Movement Control Order.