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KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 ― The federal government is confident that it can push out the various financial assistance under the RM250 billion Covid-19 stimulus care package to the B40 and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a speedy manner.
Speaking at the Bicara Naratif talk show, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said that their confidence in the identification and delivery mechanism for those who qualify stems from all the big data that they have collected over the years.
However, their only hiccup would be the middle-income M40 group where Azmin admits that Putrajaya has never collected their details and does not have a complete database.
“Right now, we have a good database of those from the B40 group, small-time traders, SMEs and corporates who have received government assistance. The database is quite complete to ensure that they will receive the assistance quickly.
“The only difficulty that we might face is with the M40 group because before this, most government initiatives seldom pay attention to them. This is the reason why we don’t have their complete data,” he explained when asked on the delivery mechanism for such widespread financial assistance.
He added that the Finance Ministry has formed up an implementation and delivery unit to ensure that all the financial assistance will reach its target groups in a fast, efficient and transparent manner.
At the same time, for the SME and corporate sector the Finance Ministry together with Bank Negara Malaysia has implemented a mechanism to make it easier for companies to apply and obtain financial assistance during the movement control order (MCO) period.
Azmin was confident that the country’s banking mechanism is more than adequate to handle the financial assistance programme.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced Malaysia’s largest stimulus package in history to support people and businesses who are suffering under the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The care package includes RM128 billion for welfare programmes and RM100 billion to support businesses and SMEs.
Muhyiddin’s long list of measures comes after grouses and concerns that the MCO ― extended by another two weeks to April 14 ― would cost jobs and shutter smaller businesses.
Only businesses which offer essential services, such as food supply, healthcare and banking, are allowed to stay open while the order is in place.