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GEORGE TOWN, May 6 — Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced a second aid package, the Penang Aid Package 2.0, worth a total RM76 million to be distributed to the most vulnerable groups.
The Penang lawmaker also announced a rebate on assessment rates for all ratepayers in the state for this year.
“The Penang aid package 2.0 is an additional RM76 million which brings the total aid package, including the aid package 1.0 of RM75 million, to RM151 million,” he said in his Facebook message today.
He said the state exco approved the aid package 2.0 to help those who were affected by the pandemic.
“The aim is to put money into the hands of the targeted groups and industries for the state’s economy and business continuity,” he said.
Under the aid package 2.0, a total RM47.3 million is in the form of rebate for this year’s assessment rate involving about 600,000 properties registered under both Penang Island City Council and Seberang Perai City Council.
Chow said a total RM4.38 million is allocated for one-off cash payments of RM500 each to registered hawkers operating at hawker complexes, coffee shops or shoplots and registered stall operators.
He said this group of hawkers were not included in the first aid package, where over 14,000 hawkers were given the aid, due to the difference in their licenses so they are given due consideration this time around.
This time, offshore fishermen, river fishermen and traditional breeders were also considered in the aid package.
“A one-off cash payment of RM400 each will be given o 5,814 offshore fishermen bringing the total to RM2.32 million,” he said.
Insulation box worth RM180 will also be distributed to about 250 river-based fishermen while feed incentives worth RM200,147 will be distributed to 988 poultry, cattle and pig breeders.
“Even though fishermen and breeders are allowed to continue with their activities, they are also impacted by the economic slowdown so a total RM2.5 million have been allocated to assist them,” he said.
Chow said daycare centres, kindergartens and nurseries are badly hit during this period especially when they are not allowed to operate during the whole of the movement control order (MCO).
“A one-off cash aid of RM500 each will be given to 118 daycare centres, 62 nurseries and 465 kindergartens that are registered bringing the total pay out to RM322,500,” he said.
He noted that there was a reported increase in domestic violence cases during the MCO and announced an allocation of RM100,000 for non-governmental organisations and individuals who had helped to manage domestic violence cases in the state.
In addition to the cash aid given to tour guides under the first package, Chow said other components of the tourism industry needed similar aid too.
“Tourism sector is a RM9 billion value-added sector for the state that has played its part to drive the state’s economy with over 35,700 businesses providing jobs to 150,000 workers,” he said.
He said the state has injected another RM10 million into its Penang Business Continuity Zero Interest Loan, called the Skim Peka, especially for those in the tourism sector.
He then announced a one-off RM500 each to a total 321 tour bus or van drivers and limousine drivers.
A total 39 watercraft operators and beach activity operators in Batu Ferringhi will also receive a one-off payment of RM300 each under package.
Chow said the state has also allocated RM200,000 to organise “Show Penang”, a project to develop digital content in the arts, culture and heritage industry.
The state also allocated one-off cash aid of RM300 each to Village Community Management Council (MPKK) and Women and Family Development Committee (JPWK) members and another RM1.829 million for additional 6,099 frontliners.
Chow said the rental and lease exemption for Chief Minister Incorporation (CMI) and State Secretary Penang Incorporation (SSI). projects involving 333 companies have been extended to April and May.
“All 387 business tenants under Penang Development Corporation (PDC) are given discounts and exemptions totalling RM1.03 million,” he said.
All People’s Public Housing (PPR) low-cost flats tenants are given another two months rental exemption while all shoplot tenants under the state housing department are given another three months’ rental exemption.
A total 24 commercial lots under Penang Hill Corporation are also given rental exemption for March, April and May and half month rental exemption for January and February.
In addition to that, a one-off payment of RM500 will be given to the 13 Penang Hill jeep operators bringing the total allocation, including the rental exemption, to RM448,253.
Chow said the Skim Peka PKS under PDC, as at May 6, has received 2,571 applications and a total 480 applicants involving loans amounting to RM7,845,000 were approved.