Phase 2 of Prihatin aid payments extended to May 22

The Inland Revenue Board is in the midst of processing appeals for BPN payments.

KUALA LUMPUR: The second phase of the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) payout which was scheduled to end last week has been extended until May 22 due to technical constraints.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said to date, 7.61 million recipients for the second phase of BPN had received payments worth RM3.41 billion, representing 93% of the allocation for the phase.

“Of the 2.3 million eligible recipients for new applications and appeals, payments already began on May 15.

“To date, 830,000 have received BPN payments totalling RM620 million,” he said here today.

Following the extension of the appeal process announced last week, the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) is now actively processing the appeals and will give them due consideration, he said.

“Applicants are reminded to submit an appeal immediately before the appeals closing date which has been extended to May 31, 2020.”

As for the EPF’s i-Lestari programme, he said, they had received 4.4 million applications with 3.9 million approved as of May 17, an increase of 3.7 million from last week with total payments of RM1.83 billion a month.

For the reduction in Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributions from 11% to 7%, he said the total reduction estimated to be received by EPF members for the month of May was RM923.5 million.

He also said more workers had chosen to keep their contributions at 11%, accounting for 1.5 million or 20% of the EPF contributors as of May 17 compared with 1.2 million contributors in April.

On the wage subsidy, Zafrul said RM2.24 billion had been approved for 267,752 employers as of May 17, representing two million workers.

On the SME Soft Loans Funds, he said as of May 17, applications approved by local banks and SMEs was RM5.8 billion, benefitting 14,075 SMEs.

The total funds managed by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) include the Special Relief Facility (SRF), agrofund and takaful insurance for Covid-19 screening.

“Demand for SRF was very encouraging and the initial allocation of RM5 billion was fully utilised quickly. In fact, as announced by BNM last week, more than 20,000 applications totalling about RM10 billion have been approved by financial institutions offering these SRFs.

“Due to the overwhelming response, BNM has added another RM5 billion in allocation to meet the number of applications which have been approved,” he said.

Of the approved figures, RM5.75 billion was approved for 13,908 small and medium-sized enterprises while the remaining RM4.25 billion applications are in the post-approval process including applications for guarantees and approvals.

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