Putrajaya dishes out RM10 billion for SMEs ravaged by pandemic

The movement control order has forced the closure of business as authorities battle the Covid-19 pandemic.

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today announced another RM10 billion aid package to help cushion the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, this time to help small and medium-sized enterprises ravaged by the closure of businesses under the movement control order (MCO).

The latest package includes more wage subsidies for companies to pay salaries to staff who earn RM4,000 and below.

Under the package, the government has pledged to cover wages to the following employers:

  • More than 200 employees: RM600 (number of workers to be covered with wage subsidy increased from 100 to 200)
  • 76-200 employees: RM800
  • 1-76 employees: RM1,200

The RM10 billion announced today is in addition to the RM250 billion Covid-19 rescue plan announced on March 27.

The latest aid will benefit 4.8 million workers in the SME category, but comes with a condition that employers must retain their staff for at least six months.

Other announcements by Muhyiddin today include:

  • RM2.1 billion in special grants of RM3,000 for micro SMEs.
  • Suspension of interest for micro credit scheme under Bank Simpanan Nasional.
  • RM200 million for “Skim Pinjaman Mudah” for loans of up to RM10,000.
  • Temporary rental waiver for premises owned by the government or government-linked companies.
  • RM2.1 billion in special grants of RM3,000 for micro SMEs, to benefit 700,000 people.
  • Six-month moratorium from licensed money-lending organisations under the Moneylenders Act 1951 for SMEs.
  • RM200 million for an “Easy Loan Scheme” under Tekun Nasional, for up to RM10,000.
  • Tax deductions for landlords of private premises for reducing rental to SME tenants by at least 30% during the MCO and three months after.
  • 25% discount on levies for foreign workers, except maids, whose permits will expire between April and December 2020.

Muhyiddin said the government would encourage negotiations between employers and employees on their terms of employment, including an option for salary deductions and unpaid leave during the MCO.

Companies are also given an automatic 30-day moratorium from the final day of the MCO to submit statutory declarations to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).

A three month extension will be allowed for companies to submit financial statements from the final day of the MCO. Companies must apply for this extension and it will apply to those with financial year ending between September 30 and December 2019.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin announced a “Laksana” implementation unit to ensure the stimulus initiatives are carried out.