Sarawak unveils RM800m BKSS 7.0 aid


THE Sarawak government yesterday announced the seventh package of Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS 7.0) involving an allocation of RM800 million to empower enterprises and business activities in the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the aid, which is divided into three measures, will help businesses following the gradual reopening of the state’s economic sectors through the National Recovery Plan.

Under the first measure, the state government will provide a special one-off financial assistance of RM10,000 for active businesses in Sarawak registered with the Social Security Organisation as of Dec 31, 2020.

“This measure will help to ease the financial burden of approximately 40,000 active businesses in Sarawak and will cost the government a direct expenditure of more than RM400 million.

“This special financial assistance will be paid in two tranches, RM5,000 in September and the remaining in December 2021,” he said in a press conference on the launch of BKSS 7.0.

Under the second measure, government procurement policies will be eased to support businesses in the construction sector, he added.

He said projects with scheduled completion dates falling within the Movement Control Order (MCO) period will be granted an automatic Extension of Time (EoT) for up to 60 days.

“In view that EoT has been granted, Liquidated and Ascertained Damages already imposed shall be waived during the gazetted MCO period,” he added.

Abang Johari said the third support measure of BKSS 7.0 would allow for relaxation in the renewal of employment permit for foreign workers in all sectors to ensure economic resilience.

“As such, the renewal of employment permit with the validity of labour licence for the plantation sector until Dec 31, 2022, during Covid-19 will be extended to all sectors, namely agriculture, mining, construction and services,” he added.