Groups laud Budget 2020 initiatives designed to aid women’s participation in workforce

People watch the Budget 2020 speech by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng ‘live’ at a restaurant in Medan Selera Medan Kidd in Ipoh October 11, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
People watch the Budget 2020 speech by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng ‘live’ at a restaurant in Medan Selera Medan Kidd in Ipoh October 11, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — The government’s move to create some 33,000 employment opportunities for women aged between 30-50 will encourage them to join the job market and venture into business.

National Council of Women’s Organisation Malaysia (NCWO) President Prof Tan Sri Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin said the RM500 incentive for two years for women aged 30 to 50 who return to work will help reduce their domestic burden and responsibilities.

“This initiative is balanced with incentives to lighten their domestic burden such as by expanding quality child care services,” she said when contacted by Bernama.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng when tabling the 2020 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, said the [email protected] initiative seeks to create 33,000 job opportunities a year for women between 30 and 50 years old and who have stopped working for a year or more.

Under this programme, returning women workers would be paid a RM500 wage incentive a month for two years, while employers will be given a hiring incentive of RM300 per month for two years.

In addition to this, Guan Eng said the current income tax exemption for women who return to work after a career break will be extended for four years until 2023.

Commenting further, Sharifah Hapsah said the allocation of RM500m as guaranteed facility for women entrepreneurs via Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Bhd (SJPP) also proved that the government was sensitive to the problems faced by women workers and entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Sumitra Visvanathan said the organisation was extremely pleased over the government decision to introduce several incentives to encourage them to increase their participation in the workforce.

“Malaysia needs to increase women’s participation in the workforce to boost the economy and also to ensure women’s workers rights are protected as well. Currently, more than 2,563,800 women in Malaysia are not working due as they have to shoulder family responsibilities at home,” she said. — Bernama

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