KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — The government has channelled RM20.147 billion to 357,429 employers through its wage subsidy programme (PSU) that has helped to keep 2,951,854 jobs in an effort to reduce the unemployment rate.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said for PSU 1.0, 322,177 employers and 2.64 million workers had received benefits under the PRIHATIN Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) and the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA), whereby wage subsidy applications reached RM12.956 billion.
“Subsidy of up to RM1,200 a month was extended for three months under the PENJANA package and overall subsidy given to employers was for six months,” he said in the 82nd report of the National Inter-Agency Economic Stimulus Implementation and Coordination Unit (LAKSANA).
According to Tengku Zafrul, for PSU 2.0, the wage subsidy was extended for three months for existing employers, that is those who had received PSU, while a six-month extension was given to all applicants from Oct 1, 2020 to Dec 31, 2020.
“Up to Jan 7, 2022, a total of RM1.405 billion had been channelled to 81,080 employers for them to maintain the salaries of 716,885 workers,” he said.
The government has extended PSU 3.0 for three months for more targeted aid, such as the tourism and retail sectors, with payment of RM600 a month for those earning RM4,000 and below.
“Up to Jan 7, 2022 a total of RM3.612 billion had been distributed to maintain the salaries of 1,521,767 workers. PSU 3.0 was also complemented and improved through aid packages such as PERMAI, PEMERKASA and PEMERKASA+,” he added.
Tengku Zafrul said the government, through SOCSO, will continue with the implementation of PSU that is more targeted towards the tourism sector as enterprises in the sector have suffered at least a 30 per cent drop in income from October 2021 to December 2021 compared to whichever month from 2019 to 2021 or pre-pandemic levels.
The allocation for this aid is RM600 million under Budget 2022.
“The application for this is from Jan 1, 2022 to March 31, 2022. Employers from the sector not registered but have been affected by the pandemic can make an online application to SOCSO.
“This initiative will benefit 26 thousand employers and 330 thousand workers. For further information, please visit https://www.perkeso.gov.my/bajet-2022/sip-bajet-2022.html,” he added.
Meanwhile, the government has also allocated RM600 million for micro, small and medium enterprises that are still affected by the pandemic.
“Up to Jan 14, 730 applications had been made, of this 376 were approved involving financing worth
RM75.5 million,” the minister said.
Under PENJANA, the government also allocated RM700 million to help SMEs and mid-level companies embark on their digitalisation process.
“Up to Dec 31, a sum of RM90 million had been channelled to 13,889 businesses in the form of grants and loans for their subscriber digitalisation services,” he said. — Bernama