COVID-19: Government announces economic initiatives to help Malaysians cope their daily lives

muhyiddin yassir covid 19 virus
Muhyiddin Yassin at press conference after chairing the Economic Action Council meeting on Monday (March 23)

PUTRAJAYA MAR 23: In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the government today has granted a special initiative to members of the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) in the age below 55 to withdraw RM500 per month from Account 2 effective from April 1, 2020 for a period of 12 months.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said, the withdrawal facility EPF i-Lestari is estimated at RM40 billion and will benefit 12 million members.

“I hope this initiative is an additional assistance besides the reduction of 4% contribution to EPF in April, This will help workers to have more money in their pockets to buy the daily necessities,” he said in his speech here today.

He added, this is to enable the family to have food every day and part of the money to pay water and electricity bills besides house rents.

The government he said has also granted RM500 million to the Ministry of Health in its efforts to combat COVID-19 and to buy necessary equipment for the laboratories .The allocation is granted via the emergency provision procedure.

In view of many hospitals are short of medical staffs, the government has also provided RM100 million for the recruitment of 2,000 staffs especially nurses on contract basis.

The government has also announced the allocation of RM130 million to assist small businesses including petty sellers besides COVID-19 victims and families to all states in Malaysia. All states regardless of political parties are given the same amount of assistance.

Muhyiddin also mentioned that the repayment of the National Higher Education Fund. Corporation (PTPTN) loan will be extended from three to six months until September 2020. This will benefit 1.5 million loan borrowers involving RM750 million.

The Prime Minister also said the government will be announcing a more comprehensive Stimulus Economic Package and People’s Aid on 30 March 2020.

“All the proactive actions to help the people are also taking into account the ways of strengthening the government’s financial situation on mid-term period.

“I hope with all the government’s efforts, the livelihood of the people is more guaranteed whilst the country’s economy remains strong,” he reiterated.

On whether the period of the Movement Control Order (MCO) will be extended after March 30, the Prime Minister said, it all depends on the situation of the people’s abiding the Order and also the tabligh participants who have not come forward for health screening.

However, he said before March 30 the National Security Council (MKN) will meet and review the COVID-19 situation and will decide further on the MCO. – Malaysia World News

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