Covid-19: Sarawak govt injects another RM290m into state economy

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg announces the injection of RM290 million into the state economy in Kuching May 8, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg announces the injection of RM290 million into the state economy in Kuching May 8, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

KUCHING, May 8 — The Sarawak government will inject another RM290 million into the state economy under the Sarawakku Sayang Special Aid Package (BKSS 3.0).

This is to further mitigate the impact of the conditional movement control order (CMCO), Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said today.

He added that with the additional sum, the state government has allocated a total sum of RM2.55 billion to the state economy throughout the movement control order (MCO) period.

“The BKSS 3.0 will consist of seven additional steps that the state government will take to help uplift the wellbeing of the people,” he told a press conference.

Abang Johari said the first step is to give an incentive of RM250 per month for six months to B40 households with an income of less than RM4,000 a month.

He added that about 30,000 households will benefit from this incentive.

The chief minister also said the state government will channel a RM500 one-off payment to 377,806 unmarried individuals with an income of less than RM2,000 a month.

He said the state government will allocate an additional special grant of RM750 to each petty trader registered with the local authorities.

He said under BKSS 2.0, the petty traders were allocated RM1,500 to be paid in May and July.

“However, following appeals from the petty traders, the state government has agreed to add another RM750 each to them,” he said.

The chief minister said the state government has also agreed to increase the quantum of monthly allowances by another RM200 to frontliners in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.

He said the frontliners include those from the Health Department, Immigration Department, police, military, state operations room and People’s Volunteers Department.

Abang Johari said 199 operators of perahu tambang registered with the Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) will be paid a RM500 one-off payment.

Similarly, a RM600 one-off payment will be given to registered operators of taxis, school buses and vans. He said 959 van, 1,976 taxi and 739 school bus operators will benefit.

The chief minister also said 145 registered tour guides and 112 national parks guides will each receive a RM1,500 one-off payment.

The chief minister said the state government will provide vans to mobile bank branches of Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) and other financial institutions so that they can service rural areas.

He said a sum of RM1.6 million has been allocated to acquire the vans for the mobile bank service in the rural areas.

“As a start, BSN mobile service counters will operate in Pakan, Sarikei Division, on May 10 and 11 and this service will be expanded to other rural areas,” he said.

The chief minister also said about 500 media practitioners in the state will each receive a RM1,500 one-off payment.

“They are also frontliners, having to go to the ground to write stories on Covid-19,” he added.

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