Govt spent more than RM500m on e-wallet credit
e-wallet / pic razak ghazali

by DASHVEENJIT KAUR / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

THE government has disbursed a total of RM517.9 million worth of e-wallet credit (ePenjana) to 10.4 million recipients nationwide, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

Tengku Zafrul said the implementation rate for the Penjana (short-term National Economic Recovery Plan) programme stands at 69%.

“Recipients of ePenjana are reminded that the credit in their e-wallets must be used by Sept 30, 2020. After that deadline, the credit value will automatically expire from the account of the e-wallet user,” he said in the 20th Laksana report on the implementation of the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin) and Penjana yesterday.

Eligible Malaysians can redeem RM50 of ePenjana credit and receive additional matching incentives worth RM50 given by the government to boost spending and support the economy through digitalisation and contactless transactions.

Of the key Prihatin handouts, a total of RM1.67 billion in the form of discounts on electricity bills benefitted up to seven million domestic consumers as of Aug 31.

Of the total discounts provided by Tenaga Nasional Bhd, 83% have been utilised by domestic consumers.

The total electricity bill discounts given to 1.4 million companies from the commercial sector stood at RM181.7 million, representing 17% of the total electricity bill discounts that have been utilised by the industrial sector.

As for the i-Lestari withdrawal scheme under the Employees Provident Fund to reduce the burden and increase the cashflow of the rakyat, the total cumulative withdrawal between April and Aug 28, 2020 was RM7.54 billion, involving 4.59 million recipients.

For the SME Soft Loans Funds administered by Bank Negara Malaysia, the total application approved by local banks and accepted by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is RM10.3 billion which will benefit 22,440 businesses.

Meanwhile, the value of moratorium on loan repayment by financial institutions is estimated at RM81.9 billion. Out of this, RM28.6 billion is utilised by the business sector while RM53.3 billion is utilised by individual borrowers.

Tengku Zafrul said, as of last week, the bank contacted over two million borrowers consisting of individuals, SMEs and other companies, including corporates and commercial businesses to offer repayment assistance.

“An encouraging fact is that 732,000 borrowers who took the automatic loan moratorium have resumed their monthly instalments compared to 336,000 borrowers in April 2020,” he added.

For one-off assistance such as the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional, assistance to students from higher-learning institutions, e-hailing and taxi drivers, government retirees and others, the value currently stands at RM14.7 billion, equivalent to an implementation rate of 94%.

Among the key handouts under the Penjana programme, the Wage Subsidy had RM10.38 billion approved as of Aug 28, benefitting more than 2.62 million employees.

As for the Penjana SME Financing which gives priority to SMEs that have never received any financing from banks, 1,615 applications were approved as of last week, with amounts disbursed at RM426.2 million.