Thumbs-up to BKSS 7.0

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

KUCHING: The unveiling of the seventh iteration of the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS 7.0) was lauded by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He said the package, which focuses on assisting affected businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic would greatly benefit the recipients.

“Thumbs-up to our government as they agreed to give a special one-off financial assistance of RM10,000 to active businesses registered in Sarawak under the BKSS 7.0 package.

“Our heartfelt thanks to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who announced this where the financial assistance is aimed to alleviate their burden caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said in a blogpost on Wednesday.

Abdul Karim said the decision by the state government to come up with the assistance package was due to requests from local business associations and guilds affected by the pandemic.

“These requests for financial assistance were to sustain their businesses, particularly to cover operational costs, including rental and wages of their employees, especially among our small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” he said.

The initiative will benefit about 40,000 active businesses registered with Social Security Organisation (Socso).

“The financial assistance will cost the Sarawak government a direct expenditure of over RM400 million.

“The assistance will be paid in two tranches with RM5,000 in September and the balance in December this year,” Abdul Karim said.

Earlier Wednesday, Abang Johari said the state government had set aside RM800 million for BKSS 7.0.

The package comprised three measures – a one-off financial assistance to active businesses; relaxation of government procurement policy due to Covid-19 and renewal of foreign workers’ employment permits.