Deferred loan repayments at RM55.2 billion, says finance minister

Deferred loan/financing repayments were made possible with the moratorium under the Prihatin economic stimulus package.

KUALA LUMPUR: Deferred loan/financing repayments under the moratorium which took effect on April 1 as part of the Prihatin economic stimulus package are estimated to have reached RM55.2 billion as of July 13.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said of the total, RM19.3 billion was utilised by the business sector while RM35.9 billion was utilised by the public.

He said the purpose of the moratorium, which is the third objective of Prihatin to strengthen the economy, was to provide relief to people and businesses in need for a six-month period.

“The government has also implemented measures to generate jobs and upskill workers.

“These efforts include supporting businesses in terms of saving jobs through the wage subsidy programme (under Prihatin and Prihatin PKS+) and the enhanced wage subsidy programme (under Penjana),” he said in a statement today.

Tengku Zafrul said under the Penjana plan, the government provides incentives for hiring and training assistance as well as incentives to improve the skills of youths and those who are unemployed so that they are looked after for at least three months and can maintain employability when the job market becomes more vibrant.

Meanwhile, those who are still affected are urged to immediately approach their banking institution or credit counselling and debt management agency for advice.

Banks are also proactively targeting borrowers to offer advisory services for repayment assistance, he said.

For the first objective which is to protect the people, the government had disbursed RM11.06 billion under Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) as of July 13, involving 10.4 million recipients, and approved 4.43 million EPF i-Lestari programme applications with total cumulative withdrawals from April to July at RM5.37 billion.

“For the second objective, which is to support businesses, the total Prihatin special grant for micro small and medium enterprises (SMEs) disbursed was RM1.64 billion. This has benefited 545,000 micro SMEs,” he said.

Under the wage subsidy programme initiative to assist employers affected by Covid-19, the government has approved RM7.79 billion for more than 2.53 million employees, while total disbursement is RM6.82 billion which has benefited 2.49 million employees.

The government’s third initiative to reinvigorate businesses through EPF’s Covid-19 assistance programme for employers had helped 11,370 applicants out of 39,323 as of July 13, amounting to RM76.1 million in employers’ contributions.

For the fourth initiative, a total of RM9.1 billion in SME soft loan funds has been approved by local banks, benefiting 20,545 SMEs, while for the fifth initiative, under the BSN micro credit schemes, a total of 10,264 applications were approved valued at RM344.4 million.

Of the amount approved, RM223 million has been disbursed to 6,200 SMEs, he said.

“For the Tekun programme, 25,502 applications were approved, amounting to RM194.63 million, and of the approved amount, RM171 million has been disbursed to 22,989 SMEs,” he added.

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