PM: One million SMEs to get financial aid under Prihatin Special Grant 4.0

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has agreed to provide additional payments of RM1,000 under the Prihatin Special Grant (GKP) 4.0 to eligible recipients.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said those eligible would receive the first payment of RM500 in September, and RM500 in November.

“The government hopes that with this GKP 4.0 payment, about 1 million small and medium enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs, particularly barbershop operators, workshop owners, bakery and cake shops, healthcare centres, and others, can reduce their monthly commitments and help their cash flow, InsyaAllah (God willing).

“For micro-entrepreneurs who have never received this aid, registration will open in mid-July.”

He said this in his special televised address to unveil the Pakej Perlindungan Rakyat dan Pemulihan Ekonomi (Pemulih) assistance package today.

Muhyiddin said the government has also agreed to implement the Wage Subsidy Programme (WSP) 4.0, with an allocation of RM3.8 billion, expected to benefit more than 2.5 million employees.

Through the WSP 4.0, the government will accommodate up to 500 employees per employer with a rate of RM600 per worker for four months – two months for all sectors in the Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan, and two months for all sectors listed as “negative” in Phase Three.

He said while the previous WSP required a salary limit of below RM4,000, there would be no salary cap under WSP 4.0.

“This means that employers can apply for the WSP 4.0 for workers who earn more than RM4,000.”

Muhyiddin said the government would also grant an automatic two-month Human Resources Development Corporation (HRD Corp) levy exemption for employers who were unable to operate during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

Additionally, employers from new sectors covered under the extension of the Human Resources Development Act 2001 would also be given levy exemption until Dec 31, 2021.

“This initiative is estimated to be worth RM425 million,” he added.

Meanwhile on job creation, training and increasing employee income, Muhyiddin said the government would extend the PenjanaKerjaya programme with several improvements.

He said the PenjanaKerjaya 3.0 would reduce the salary eligibility limit from RM1,500 to RM1,200 for the programme to incentivise employers to replace foreign workers with local workers.

In addition, the employment contract period would be relaxed from 12 months to six months for employees aged 50 and above, the disabled, and ex-convicts. – NST

by Dawn Chan

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