Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced a follow-up Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) of RM250 billion to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and ensure that Malaysia’s people, businesses and the overall economy are protected and more resilient.
Under the ESP, RM128 billion is allocated for the people’s welfare, RM100 billion is apportioned to support businesses and SMEs, and RM2 billion is provided to strengthen the economy. This is in addition to the RM20 billion 2020 Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) announced on 27 February 2020 under the theme “Bolstering Confidence, Stimulating Growth & Protecting Jobs”.
While there are numerous measures aimed at ensuring that “nobody is left behind”, the following are the pertinent highlights of ESP 2.0 for MIA members:
- Employee Provident Fund (EPF) will provide consultation services for employers beginning 15 April 2020, including the options of payment deferment, restructuring and rescheduling of employers’ contributions. This will ensure cash flow savings of RM10 billion for employers and benefit 480,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and companies while saving more than eight million jobs.
- The Government will also introduce a wage subsidy of RM600 a month for three months for employers with a 50% drop in business since 1 Jan 2020, for workers with a salary of below RM4,000.
- Eligible employers must comply with the stipulated terms and conditions.
- Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) levy to be exempted for all sectors for six months starting April 2020. Although HRDF may not be applicable to the Public Practice sector, the levy exemption will generally benefit other business sectors.
- Deferment of income tax instalment payment for SMEs for three months starting 1 April 2020.
- The Government and Bank Negara Malaysia will provide an additional allocation of RM4.5 billion for SMEs and micro entrepreneurs subject to the guidelines issued by the respective authorities.
- The Government, together with telecommunication companies, will provide free internet data usage to their respective customers throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) period beginning April 1.
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The Institute hopes that the ESP measures will boost the morale of our members, and that member firms in particular will benefit from the concessions that are aimed at saving business and jobs.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation, maintain close communication with the Government, regulators and our stakeholders, and will notify members of any future developments.
In the interim, MIA hopes that everyone will stay safe and comply with the extended Movement Control Order and all rules and regulations for our mutual benefit.
Dr Nurmazilah Dato’ Mahzan
Chief Executive Officer