Govt approves RM12.5b of wage subsidies


A TOTAL of RM12.49 billion of wage subsidies have been approved as of Nov 20, 2020, an increase from RM12.38 billion last week, according to the 31st report by the Economic Stimulus Implementation and Coordination Unit between national agencies.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (picture) said the Wage Subsidy Programme (WSP) benefitted 322,177 employers and 2.64 million employees as applications closed on Oct 30, 2020.

WSP 2.0, which began in October 2020, saw a total distribution of RM164.26 million as of Nov 20, 2020, to assist 34,479 employers to continue operating and retain a total of 273,767 employees.

These numbers increased from RM148.22 million last week which assisted 30,492 employers to sup- port 247,035 employees.

Tengku Zafrul acknowledged that there are indeed some constraints in implementing all proposals raised in Budget 2021 in order to balance the government’s short-term and long-term interests.

He said the government needs to ensure aid reaches those who are really in need, without neglecting the responsibility of good fiscal discipline practices for the sustainability of the country’s economy in the long term.

“However, when there is a clash between these interests, the government will not compromise in prioritising the welfare of the people,” he said in the report.

The Hiring Incentive and Training Assistance programmes have enabled 84,922 employees to secure jobs, an increase from 78,317 last week, the report read.

It noted that the number included 68,198 workers under the age of 40; 10,874 individuals in the age group between 40 and 60; 5,499 apprentices and 351 people with disabilities.

Penjana SME Financing facility has approved a total of 5,104 small and medium enterprises’ applications with a financing value of RM1.06 billion for the same period, an increase from 4,937 applications last week for RM1.03 billion.

Under the Kita Prihatin package, to date, Phase 1 payment worth RM4.5 billion has been successfully channelled to over 9.86 million recipients, comprising seven mil- lion recipients in the bottom 40% income group and 2.86 million recipients in the middle 40% income group.