News

More than RM156b spent on aid packages, economic stimulus

Following the implementation of the packages, the trend of economic recovery could be seen as the country’s economy grew by 3% in the 1st 9 months of 2021

pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

A TOTAL of RM156.18 billion out of the RM225 billion allocated through four aid and economic stimulus packages to re-stimulate the economy has been spent as of Nov 30, 2021.

Deputy Finance Minister II Yamani Hafez Musa told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that the package included the Malaysian Economic and People’s Protection Assistance Package (Permai), the People and Economic Empowerment Strategic Programme (Pemerkasa), Pemerkasa Tambahan and the People’s Protection and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih).

He said following the implementation of the packages, the trend of economic recovery could be seen as the country’s economy grew by 3% in the first nine months of this year, compared to a contraction of 6.4% in the same period last year.

Yamani added that the lifting of interstate travel ban, the reopening of almost all economic sectors as well as the resumption of most social activities under the National Recovery Plan (NRP) have also helped grow the country’s economy.

“Following the progress of the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme has improved domestic demand and encouraged positive sentiment among businesses and consumers by helping the affected people as well as ensuring business continuity.

“The consumer sentiment index, for example, has jumped to 101.7 points in the third quarter of 2021 compared to 64.3 points in the previous quarter,” he noted during a question and answer session.

He was responding to a question from Datuk Razali Idris on the extent to which the four aid and economic stimulus packages, namely Permai, Pemerkasa, Pemerkasa Tambahan and Pemulih, have re-stimulated the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Duties) Datuk Mastura Mohd Yazid told the Dewan Rakyat that a total of 65,189 Covid-19 special assistance applications were received as of Dec 6 with 55,184 of them being processed, while 22,336 applications were approved involving assistance of RM28.6 million.

She said a total of 11,816 applications were approved with a total assistance of RM56.8 million for the Covid-19 special assistance of death management.

“There is no allocation in 2022 from the government for this assistance as it uses the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) Covid-19 Fund, which receives contributions from the public, corporates, royal institutions and members of the administration,” she added.

Mastura was responding to a question from Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka) on the latest statistics on applications and approvals of Covid-19 Special Assistance and Covid-19 management assistance under Nadma, as well as the government’s allocation for the two aids for 2022.

In the event of the next wave of Covid-19, Mastura said the government would increase the fund to cover the need if the balance of the Covid-19 Nadma fund is not enough to make payments.

To date, she said the government had channelled initial assistance of RM61 million for Covid-19.

Zukri

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