Sarawak injects RM405 mln for BKSS 5.0

Abang Johari speaks during the press conference to announce the BKSS 5.0. Photo: CMO

KUCHING: The Sarawak government has announced the Sarawakku Sayang Special Aid (BKSS) 5.0 package amounting to RM405 million to assist Sarawakians over the next six months.

This fifth package is a continuation of the state government’s four BKSS packages totalling RM2.6 billion to ease the burden of Sarawakians since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the state in March last year.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg hoped that  BKSS 5.0 which is fully borne by the state government, would be able to ease the burden of Sarawakians until June this year.

“We also hope that by then, the Covid-19 vaccine will be available for Sarawakians so that we are able to overcome the spread of the pandemic,” he told a press conference today.

There are 11 initiatives in the BKSS 5.0 package. These are:

  • Electricity bill discount from January to June 2021
    • This discount will benefit 642,000 households throughout Sarawak. The total cost of this electricity bill discount amounting to RM166.2 million will be borne by the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government.
  • Domestic consumers will be given 25 percent discount on monthly electricity bills.
  • Commercial consumers of C1, C2 and C3 groups will be given 15 percent discount on monthly electricity bills.
  • Industrial consumers of I1 an I2 groups will be given 10 percent discount on monthly electricity bills.
  • Industrial consumers of I3 group will be given five percent discount on monthly electricity bills.
  • Water bill discount from January to June 2021.
    • This discount will benefit 568,000 households throughout Sarawak. The total cost of this water bill discount amounting to RM31.5 million will be borne by the state government.
  • Domestic consumers (households receiving the existing RM5 subsidy) will be given 25 percent discount on monthly water bills.
  • Domestic/commercial consumers will be given 15 percent discount.
  • Industrial consumers will be given 10 percent discount on their monthly water bills.
  • Market and stall rental discount of 50 percent from January to June 2021.
    • This assistance will benefit more than 10,000 registered hawkers who rent markets and stalls under local authorities (PBT). The entire discount of RM1.6 million will be funded by the State government.
  • Exemption of business permit and licence payment.
    • The state government will exempt the payment of permits and business licences to traders, hawkers, night market traders and guest markets. This fee exemption will reduce the burden of traders, hawkers, night market traders and guest markets registered with local authorities throughout the state. This move will cost RM8.3 million.
  • Exemption of rental payment to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating at business premises owned by statutory bodies and state government-linked companies (GLC) from January to June 2021.
    • The state government will continue to exempt rental payments to SMEs operating in business premises owned by statutory bodies and state GLC companies such as the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA) and the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA).
  • Twenty-five percent discount on assessment rates from January to June 2021.
    • A 25 percent discount on assessment rates for residential, commercial, industrial and special purpose holding premises with annual rates of RM400 and above. This measure will benefit 185,000 premises in local authorities (PBT) and at the same time ease the burden of the people and traders in Sarawak. The total cost of this discount which is estimated at RM74.6 million will be funded by the state government.
  • Fifty percent rental discount of Sarawak Housing Development Corporation (HDC) Scheme from January to June 2021.
    • This measure will benefit more than 3,200 HDC Housing Scheme tenants throughout Sarawak. The total cost of this discount is estimated to exceed RM3 million.
  • Thirty percent land tax payment discount from January to June 2021.
    • This measure will benefit over 52,400 residential, commercial and industrial centres, large-scale plantations and other public facilities. This measure will reduce the burden of the people and will involve costs amounting to RM11.8 million borne by the state government.
  • Exemption of licence payment for hotel and lodging houses for the year 2021.
    • One-off exemption of licence payment to 17,300 hotel rooms throughout Sarawak. This measure will benefit more than 340 hotels and lodging house operators. It will cost about RM400,000 to the state government.
  • Postponement of premium land payment for the year 2021.
    • This one-off measure will benefit more than 1,720 landowners throughout Sarawak covering agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial lands as well as public and private institutions involving a total cost of RM105 million.
  • Postponement of Small and Medium Industrial Loan Scheme (SPIKS) payment from January to June 2021.
    • The state government will postpone payment of the SPIKS loans to help cash flow and reduce the financial burden of SMEs. This measure will benefit 174 borrowers with a value of RM900,000.