THE Penang government has announced a RM75 million Covid-19 economic stimulus package to assist the people during the movement control order (MCO) in view of the deadly outbreak.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the financial aid was set to benefit some 410,000 recipients in the state.
“I had earlier announced a RM20 million allocation. However, we have decided to increase the aid to RM75 million after considering the needs of the people during this trying times,”Chow told the public during a Facebook Live on his Facebook page today.
He said that the financial aid was offered to assist small traders, businesses and the needy during this period.
“I hope that the package can help the people in the vulnerable groups; such as hawkers, small-time businesses, taxi drivers, trishaw riders, e-hailing drivers, the disabled, as well as those in the low income group (B40) and the aid recipients of the Social Welfare Department,” he said.
Chow said that the objectives of the Covid-19 economic stimulus package were to assist the people who are most impacted by the situation, to develop the state through productivity and to ensure business continuity.
Among the aid, as announced by Chow, was a RM500 one-off payment for registered hawkers, small traders, tour guides and Social Welfare Department recipients.
“A one-off payment of RM1,000 will be given to the families of the Covid-19 victims who had passed away; while a one-off RM500 payment will be channeled to those who have been tested positive for Covid-19.
“The frontliners from both city councils, as well as e-hailing drivers will receive a one-off payment of RM300 aid.
“Other frontliners which include the police, state Health Department, the army, Immigration Department, Civil Defence and Rela will also be given the one-off payment of RM300,” he said.
The Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JHEAIPP) will also disburse a one-off payment of RM1,000 to the mosques and a one-off payment of RM500 to the suraus to help in the maintenance, cleaning and disinfection works.
The aid will be given to 226 mosques and 538 suraus in Penang.
Chow said that taxi drivers and trishaw riders would be receiving their annual RM300 incentive earlier, in April.
“The Penang government is also giving an extra one-off payment of RM200 to each of them. The aid will benefit 2,248 taxi drivers and 318 trishaw riders in Penang.
“Meanwhile, each state constituencies in Penang will be receiving a RM30,000 special allocation. The special allocation is an emergency relief fund for the local communities,” he said.
Chow added that the People’s Housing Project tenants and those who rent the Rumah Sewa Kerajaan Negeri (RSKN) are exempted from paying their monthly rental for April and May.
He said that the deadline to pay the parcel rent or quit rent has been extended to Aug 30.
The Penang government will also be setting up a Penang Business Continuity Zero Interest Loan to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-entrepreneurs.
“The SMEs can apply up to RM10,000 loan, while the micro-entrepreneurs can apply up to RM5,000 loan each.
“These are zero interest loans and the borrower will only need to repay the loan after six months.
“The state hopes that the private sector will also lend its assistance in an effort to recover the state’s economy.
“I hope that those who are affected will not give up but instead, strive to work harder to develop the state and the nation,” he said.
Story by Edmund Lee
Pix by Alissala Thian
Video by Chan Kok Kuan