KUALA LUMPUR: The government has created 320,000 jobs so far through the National Employment Council (NEC) initiative, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
He said in an effort to help the target groups find jobs, RM2bil was allocated for the PenjanaKerjaya programme under Budget 2021, for which PenjanaKerjaya 2.0 has helped more than 141,000 people secured jobs.
“Meanwhile, PenjanaKerjaya 3.0 has been introduced under the People’s Well-being and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih), with several improvements incorporated.
“Among them are reducing the salary eligibility limit under the Malaysianisation programme and easing the employment contract period for workers aged 50 and above, the disabled and ex-prisoners,” he said in the 64th Inter-Agencies Economic Stimulus Implementation and Coordination Unit (Laksana) report yesterday.
The NEC was formed with the target of creating 500,000 jobs and skills training placements through strategic collaboration between government agencies and industry players.
Tengku Zafrul said the government was also aware of the commitments such as bills, rent and employee salaries faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-entrepreneurs.
Hence, he said continuous assistance has been and is being implemented to ensure that they persevere and could bounce back.
“This include an allocation of almost RM20bil for the Wage Subsidy Programme and so far RM15.6bil has been channelled, benefiting more than 330,000 employers and preventing 2.8 million workers from losing their jobs.
“SMEs that experience a reduction in income due to Covid-19 will be given a wage subsidy of RM600 per month for each employee, limited to 500 employees,” he said.
Tengku Zafrul said that starting August, the wage subsidy will be detailed in the salary slip of each employee who receives the government subsidy.
On a question raised during the Dewan Rakyat session recently whether the size of the aid package was sufficient, he said the government had introduced eight economic packages amounted to RM530bil since last year, including the largest budget in the country’s history in Budget 2021 amounted to RM322.5bil.
“Imagine that even though the country’s economy is in the worst crisis since World War II, the government is still committed and able to provide an overall aid package worth RM305bil or 22.7% of gross domestic product. This is one of the largest rates compared to stimulus packages from other countries such as Indonesia, South Korea and the United States,” he said.
However, the key to recovery, as well as success against Covid-19, hinges on the level of vaccination achieved, he added. — Bernama