JKM’s assistance beneficiaries to rise 3-fold

This prompts the govt to create a more systematic welfare aid payment platform

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic by TMR FILE

THE Department of Social Welfare’s (JKM) beneficiaries are expected to increase by three times due to the recent revision of the poverty line to RM2,208, prompting the government to create a systematic welfare aid payment platform.

Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun (picture) said the platform would allow more beneficiaries to apply for assistance and enables easier payment in line with the smart society initiative.

“The shift means that the country’s poverty rate has increased from 0.4% to 5.6% and reflects more on the reality of the people.

“Recognising this fact, the smart society initiative is expected to address three key challenges, such as poverty, the lack of job opportunities and lack of resources,” she said at the signing ceremony between the ministry and Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd in setting up the platform.

She added that the provision of Internet facilities and the development of human capital via skills training could help boost people’s participation.

“The lack of physical skills training can be overcome through e-learning.

“This new initiative is expected to be a sustainable initiative to close the household income gap. The digital environment will serve as a catalyst for skills development, industrial training, entrepreneurship and so on,” she said.

Rina hoped that the collaboration with Bank Islam would be the pioneer for many other partnerships that will lend into the development of a smart society, and both stakeholders kick-started their collaboration by ensuring easier payment for the relevant beneficiaries such as the poor and the unemployed.

The collaboration is expected to provide systematic payments via debit cards at all merchant terminals, and with the ministry, the bank is expected to ensure that the use of the platform reaches rural areas as well.

Bank Islam CEO Mohd Muazzam Mohamed said in facing the new norm, the bank has introduced simpler and safer initiatives for clients.

“Bank Islam is glad to be given the trust in providing a platform that can enhance social welfare programmes with a digital foundation.

“This work is also in line with our objective to increase accessibility to banking that is also Shariah-compliant for the country,” he said.

He added that this move would indeed enhance the country’s Islamic banking industry and contribute towards realising the country’s goal in becoming the Global Islamic Finance Hub in the future.

“In this regard, it is important that innovation efforts need to be implemented to meet these future needs,” he said.

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