PETALING JAYA: Nearly RM4.7bil in direct cash transfers would have been paid to 8.4 million Malaysians by the time the second phase of Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) is completed.
The second phase payment, which begins today, would involve an allocation of RM2.75bil, the Finance Ministry said in the 52nd Laksana report.
Earlier, between Feb 24 and April 1, a total of RM1.93bil had been disbursed to the recipients under the first phase of BPR.
Aside from the cash transfers, the BPR recipients will also enjoy benefits related to internet access or mobile gadgets worth RM3.5bil under the Jaringan Prihatin programme.
The Laksana report also mentioned that about 404,000 vulnerable Malaysians, among who are children from poor families, elderly people and persons with disabilities, had received monthly assistance worth over RM500mil as of April 22.
“In terms of monthly assistance for children and the disabled, under the first goal of the People’s Wellbeing Vision in Budget 2021, the second strategy to achieve that goal is to Preserve the Welfare of the Vulnerable.
“Through this strategy, the government has agreed to increase the monthly assistance rate for the disabled who are unable to work, the elderly, care for the disabled and chronically ill patients, the allowance rate for disabled workers as well as children support for poor families involving an allocation of RM2.2bil, ” it said.
As for the economic sector, a total of RM1.17bil had been channelled to 73,567 employers as at April 23, under the Wage Subsidy Programme (WSP) 2.0. The wage subsidy has not only helped businesses to continue operating, but also maintained employment for 635,748 Malaysian workers.
It is noteworthy that under the first round of the WSP, a total of 322,177 employers and 2.64 million employees have benefitted.
“As of April 23, the approved wage subsidy applications have reached a value of RM12.88bil, with a slight increase compared to last week, ” according to the Laksana report.
The government has also spent on providing skills enhancement programmes to ensure that Malaysians, including youths, remain competitive amid the weak labour market conditions. As of April 23, a total of 143,004 participants had been approved to participate in the programmes provided.