A total of RM10 billion has been allocated under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). This came after the recent announcement by the government of Malaysia to help the people in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s Movement Control Order (MCO) in the country.
Additional to the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat
The Prime Minister Tan Sri Muyiddin Yassin initially announced a list of assistance to help lessen the burden of Malaysians from all walks of life and the SMEs are also included through an additional Prihatin Economic Stimulus Package that was first announced on 27 March 2020. The additional package is mostly catered for the SMEs and micro-SMEs in Malaysia which have been badly affected by the MCO.
Highlights of the additional Prihatin subsidies
The first Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat package totaled RM250 billion and the additional initiatives will cost an additional RM10 billion. This means, the total amount allocated to help SMEs and Micro-SMEs totaled to RM14.5 billion which is very significant. What can SMEs and Micro-SMEs expect from this?
Helping in wage operations
The government will help to subsidies wages for up to RM7.9 billion. For companies whose employees (local) earn less than RM4,000:
- Companies between 100 and 200 workers, they will receive RM600 per worker.
- Companies between 76 and 200 workers, they will receive a subsidy of RM800 per worker.
- Companies with lesser than 75 employees will receive a subsidy of RM1,200 per worker.
- This assistance is provided for 3 months.
For companies to be eligible for this, they must be:
- Registered with the SSM or the local agencies before 1 January 2020.
- Registered with SOCSO (PERKESO)
- Able to retain their employees for at least 6 months starting from the date they receive the wage subsidy
Special Grant for Micro-SMEs
Up to RM3,000 in the form of a special grant is provided for every micro-SME company (there are about 700,000 in the country). In order to enjoy this assistance, the micro-SME must be registered with LHDN (Inland Revenue Board).
Assisting SMEs and Micro-SMEs in other ways
Besides the wage subsidies, the government has called on related agencies to help this group of businesses as well. Among them:
- Lending organizations under Akta Pemberi Pinjaman Wang 1951 to provide moratorium for SME installments for 6 months
- Abolishing the 2% interest rate under the Micro Credit Scheme provided by BSN (Bank Simpanan Nasional)
- TEKUN Nasional to provide an easy loan scheme for micro-SMEs at 0% interest rate of up to RM100,000 per company.
- Exclusion of premises rental or discounts for SMEs and micro-SMEs from the GLCs like Petronas, PNB, UDA, MARA and others. The government is encouraging the private sector to do the same during and after the MCO.
- Documents – companies are given a 30-day moratorium to submit statutory documents to SSM from the last date of the MCO.
- The filing of financial statements has been extended to 3 months after the MCO.