Federation welcomes latest economic recovery package

Jonathan Chai

KUCHING: The Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) believes that measures under the newly announced National People’s Wellbeing and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih) will help businesses and the public to cope with financial difficulties during this trying time.

SBF secretary-general Jonathan Chai said SBF welcomed the RM150 billion Pemulih package unveiled by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday.

“In particular, the provision of the Wage Subsidy Programme (WSP) 4.0 and the automatic extension of the loan moratorium will definitely help to ease the cash flow of businesses, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” he said today.

He noted that under WSP 4.0, the government would support up to 500 workers per employer with the assistance of RM600 per worker for a period of four months.

“This programme is expected to benefit more than 2.5 million workers and will be made available to all sectors with no salary cap on the employees for a period of two months in the second phase of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), and subsequently another two months for sectors categorised as negative in the third phase of NRP.

“A six-month moratorium will also be given under the Pemulih package to all individual borrowers — whether they are from the B40, M40, or T20 groups, or micro-entrepreneurs — and no more conditions such as income reduction, checks on whether the applicant had lost his job and documentation will be needed for submission of the application.”

In addition, SBF also applauded the commitment and efforts of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in providing access to financial assistance for SMEs.

Chai said, as reported, there is still an existing balance of RM6.6 billion out of the total RM25.1 billion provided by the central bank for the benefit of new applicants.

“Under the Pemulih package, BNM will provide an additional RM2 billion to bring the remaining fund amount to RM8.6 billion.”

SBF hoped this fund would be able to meet the various needs of SMEs and micro-entrepreneurs in easing the cash flow constraints of their businesses.

SBF also welcomed the statement from Muhyiddin that the government is ready to consider allowing companies to resume full operations if all their workers had been fully vaccinated.

“We urge all employers to encourage their employees to get vaccinated or register for vaccination as soon as possible.”