Loan moratorium for all B40, says minister

by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by BERNAMA

ALL citizens in the Bottom 40% (B40) category are eligible for a loan moratorium under the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy Plus.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz emphasises that there is no discrepancy between the announcement made by the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, him and the banking sector — the Association of Banks in Malaysia and the Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia.

“It is not true that loan moratorium is only offered to those who have lost their jobs and does not involve the B40 group,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.

Currently, the financial assistance from member banks is covered under the Targeted Repayment Assistance (TRA) programme which has been in place since Oct 1, 2020.

Under the latest TRA programme, any individual customers who have lost their employment are eligible upon contacting their banks for either loan deferment (moratorium) for a period of three months or 50% reduction in the monthly instalment payment for a period of six months.

“Those who have experienced a reduction in income (including household income) are eligible for a commensurate reduction in monthly instalments.

“B40 borrowers who are registered under Bantuan Sara Hidup or Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat are eligible to opt for this specific repayment assistance. Micro enterprises with loan facilities of not more than RM150,000 may also opt for this specific repayment assistance,” it said in a recent statement.

“For all other affected borrowers, member banks have in place bespoke/customised rescheduling and restructuring schemes to help alleviate their burden,” it added.

Up to March 26, 2021, the banks have received 1.6 million applications for TRA out of which 95% were approved.