Announced as part of the relief programme for the MCO 2.0, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin introduced the PERMAI Assistance Package for the rakyat as the country continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.
Here’s a brief round-up of what that means to you, and how this scheme will benefit some of us.
Combating the covid-19 outbreak
Firstly the Government has provided an additional allocation of RM800 million for the Ministry of Health, which will go towards funding supplies, including additional reagents and screening kits as well as PPE equipment, specifically for healthcare frontliners.
Then, the most anticipated vaccine will also be distributed, with the initial roll-out happening towards the end of February; for this RM3 billion has been spent on the National Immunisation Programme.
There’s also plans to recruit an additional 3,500 healthcare personnel who will start working at the end of this month, with an additional allocation of RM150 million set aside. Meanwhile, as announced during Budget 2021, the one-off provision of RM500 to healthcare frontliners and RM300 to other frontliners will be paid on top of the RM600 which was also promised to healthcare frontliners.
The people’s welfare
The second objective of the PERMAI assistance package is to continue with efforts to safeguard the Rakyat’s welfare following the implementation of the MCO, especially the vulnerable groups and informal workers, who are dependent on daily wages.
On top of the prior BPN which was announced, new measures this time around include a Food Basket Program immediately which will provide essential food items worth RM100 for each eligible household, involving a total allocation of RM50 million.
Plus, the moratorium for deserving individuals can be extended further, and this now includes even a halt of payments to PTPTN, including for those affected by the recent floods. Plus borrowers facing difficulties in dealing with banks can get counselling either via telephone or online.
Not to mention, there’s the slightly controversial decision of EPF withdrawals, as well as tax reliefs for donations made, as well as digital telecommunication equipment purchased.
Support for businesses
The third and final goal of the PERMAI assistance package is to ensure businesses continue to survive during these unprecedented times.
This includes a wage subsidy programme by SOCSO for businesses in states within MCO areas, which sees RM600 being borne by the government regardless of sector.
There’s also special grants given to certain industries as well as areas, such as hawkers in Sabah and SMEs within the MCO-affected states.
For a full list of benefits and to see if you qualify, click here.