About 150,000 companies in Malaysia have benefited from the Wage Subsidy Programme (WSP) under the Prihatin package, Human Resources Minister M Saravanan has stated.
According to a report by Bernama, Minister Saravanan noted that the programme has helped reduce the country's unemployment numbers, with the rate of unemployment dropping from 5% in May 2020 to 4.7% in July.
"A total of RM11.8bn out of RM13.8bn billion has been disbursed to 300,000 companies in tackling unemployment.
"The remaining sum has yet to be disbursed due to certain constraints such as verifying the authenticity of applications, falsification of documents and applicants not completing the forms such as providing their bank details."
In March this year, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin first announced the implementation of the WSP to help employers retain workers, as part of the Prihatin package. The total allocation for the programme was RM5.9bn.
Following that, a week later, the PM announced that the WSP will be enhanced, with a total allocation of RM 13.8bn, which was RM7.9bn more than the initial amount allocated. This was part of an additional RM10bn added to the Prihatin package to aid SMEs with their financials.
In further efforts to tide businesses through this time, PM Muhyiddin last week announced a new Kita Prihatin package, which includes a second Wage Subsidy Programme targeted at companies still affected by COVID-19.
The programme will run as follows:
- First: wage subsidies will be given to employers who are still affected, i.e. companies that, since the RMCO started, still face a revenue reduction of at least 30% compared to last year.
- Second: wage subsidies will be given for up to three months at a rate of RM600 per month for each employee, up to a maximum of 200 employees.
Applications for this second round will open from 1 October up until 31 December 2020.
Photo / 123RF