Govt to improve cash aid for flood victims

by SHAFIQQUL ALIFF / pic by TMR FILE

THE Finance Ministry (MoF) will increase the Bantuan Wang Ihsan (BWI) for the northeast monsoon flood victims from RM500 to RM1,000 for each head of household (KIR) at temporary evacuation centres (PPS).

The BWI is also extended to KIRs that are not moved to PPS.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (picture) said flood victims can now claim BWI every time a disaster strikes, rather than only once, and that the death assistance to the victims’ next of kin has also been increased from RM5,000 to RM10,000.

He stated that the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) had channelled the initial allocation of BWI of RM26.9 million to all affected states and expedited the BWI payments to flood victims on Dec 24.

“MoF will ensure Nadma receives sufficient allocation to meet the actual needs and an initial allocation of RM100 million is provided for post-flood recovery efforts.

“The assistance includes the cleaning and repair of housing areas and public infrastructure, and expediting and facilitating the implementation of post-flood rehabilitation work.

“MoF has issued guidelines on Dec 21 regarding the relaxation of procurement methods for repair work on infrastructure and public facilities damaged by floods,” he said in a statement recently.

Tengku Zafrul added that the provision of a fund of RM100 million under Bank Simpanan Nasional’s (BSN) MyRinggit-i Banjir, BSN is offering flood victims financing of up to RM10,000 compared to RM5,000 last week at 0% with a six-month moratorium on repayment and further repayment within a period of up to 3.5 years.

He stated that the increase in funds from RM200 million to RM500 million for Disaster Relief Facility by Bank Negara Malaysia and the loan facility will be provided through commercial banks for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to finance the replacement of equipment damaged by floods and working capital.

“Financing up to RM500,000 will be provided for SMEs while micro-entrepreneurs can borrow up to RM75,000.

“The financing period is up to five years including a moratorium on repayment for six months and the financing rate is up to 3.5% per annum including guarantee costs. Applications can be made through commercial banks from Dec 27, 2021,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul further said the government continues to monitor the situation and the MoF, in particular, would always be ready to provide adequate allocations to help flood victims as soon as possible.