RM13.53b channelled through Wage Subsidy Programme 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 up till Feb 15, says finance minister

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the initiative had been among the factors reducing the unemployment rate to 4.8 per cent in November 2020 and December 2020 compared to 5.3 per cent in May 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the initiative had been among the factors reducing the unemployment rate to 4.8 per cent in November 2020 and December 2020 compared to 5.3 per cent in May 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR Feb 25 — A total of RM13.53 billion had been channelled through the Wage Subsidy Programme (PSU) 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 up till Feb 15, 2021 to 327,908 employers, thus helping to maintain 2.695 million jobs.

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the initiative had been among the factors reducing the unemployment rate to 4.8 per cent in November 2020 and December 2020 compared to 5.3 per cent in May 2020.

“However the government is aware that we need to act more than just save jobs. We need to generate new job opportunities for those who have lost their jobs or who are just entering the job market, especially school leavers and graduates of institutes of higher learning.

“To achieve this objective, the Employment Incentive or Penjana Career Programme has been introduced with an allocation of RM2 billion,” he said in his opening speech at the National Penjana Career Carnival 2021 held online today.

As of February 15, 2021, Tengku Zafrul said a total of RM337.3 million had been paid as Penjana Career 1.0 incentive which benefited 14,904 employers and provided 113,074 job opportunities for the rakyat.

For Penjana Career 2.0 under Budget 2021, the date of application had opened on January 1, 2021, where more than RM3.9 million had been paid to 1,073 employers involving 3,651 employees.

“Various initiatives are implemented by the government for the well-being of the people, especially for those in the B40 and M40 categories. To address the problem of unemployment, the government has introduced various measures including the PSU, Training and Re-Training Programme as well as the Employment Incentive or Penjana Career Programme.

“However, with the latest Covid-19 wave, which resulted in the implementation of various versions of the movement control order (MCO) since January 2021, many may still face the challenge of finding jobs in the first quarter of this year,” he said.

Although many economic activities are allowed under the MCO 2.0, he said there are still sectors that are badly affected such as tourism and some retail sub-sectors that can only recover when the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme is fully implemented by the first quarter of 2022.

“Therefore, the efforts led by the Ministry of Human Resources and the Social Security Organisation (Socso) are now becoming more critical and need to be intensified to help the unemployed rakyat get employment opportunities to earn a living,” he said.

The National Penjana Career Carnival 2021, held online, is organised by the Ministry of Human Resources and offers 10,802 vacancies.

Socso said in a statement yesterday that as of February 23, a total of 12,303 participants have registered early since the open interview session began on February 18. — Bernama

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