by ASILA JALIL / graphic by MZUKRI MOHAMAD
THE Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has approved 3.18 million i-Sinar applications worth RM25.3 billion as of Wednesday, equivalent to some 66% of the 4.8 million applications it has received so far.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, in the 37th Laksana report released yesterday, said approved applications will receive a total of RM13 billion this month, while other applications are still being processed by the EPF.
“As announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday, the i-Sinar facility has been improved, especially for those who are facing challenges arising from the Movement Control Order (MCO) and the floods, which will provide an advance of up to RM1,000 for i-Sinar Category 2 applicants.”
Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul said RM12.69 billion in wage subsidies have been approved under the Wage Subsidy Programme (WSP) 1.0 as of Jan 8, 2021, which involved 2.64 million employees and 322,177 employers.
He said 129,004 employees had secured employment under the hiring and training assistance programme, including 102,972 individuals below the age of 40, between the ages 40 and 60 (17,403), apprentices (7,325) and differently-abled persons (1,304).
“Among the key industries and sectors actively hiring are manufacturing, as well as wholesale and retail trade.”
The reskilling and upskilling programme had also approved 134,137 individuals as of Jan 8, compared to 133,936 individuals recorded the previous week.
For WSP 2.0, Tengku Zafrul said RM590.35 million had been channelled to 57,146 employers as of Jan 8, to help maintain the employment of 475,510 employees.
Financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under the short-term National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) further saw 6,129 applications approved amounting to a disbursement of RM1.18 billion as of Jan 8.
The Penjana credit micro financing under Bank Simpanan Nasional registered a total of RM320 million that will benefit 9,358 micro SMEs, including in retail and services sectors, while another RM105.6 million were channelled to 389 SMEs under the Bumiputera Relief Financing.
“The Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) 2.0 will be distributed as early as Jan 21 for bottom 40% recipients and Jan 25 for middle 40% recipients. This includes those whose appeals had been approved.
“In total, BPN 2.0 will place RM2.38 billion into the hands of over 11.06 million recipients, comprising 5.82 million individuals and 5.24 million households,” he said.