Johor government has unveiled its third and largest economic stimulus package yet, worth RM241mil, to boost its Covid-19 pandemic management efforts and provide financial relief to the people.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the main focus of the stimulus package was to allocate RM75mil to allow the state government to better test, trace and vaccinate the people against Covid-19 through the purchase of the Antigen Rapid Test Kit and targeted screening.
He said a large chunk of the stimulus package totalling RM126.86mil was allocated to improving the people’s welfare and human capital across various sectors.
“This includes a one-off RM500 financial assistance to micro-entrepreneurs such as petty traders and hawkers as well as canteen operators, barbers, school bus and van drivers, religious officials and low-income households who are listed in the National Poverty Data Bank system (eKasih).
“In efforts to strengthen social security, we are also lending a helping hand to those in the creative industry, media practitioners, students in primary up to tertiary education and employees suffering from income or job loss due to the pandemic.
In caring for the people’s mental well-being, Hasni said RM1mil had been allocated to the Darul Ta’zim Family Development Foundation (YPKDT) to conduct online counselling, psychology webinars and tests to benefit about 10,000 recipients.
The state government will also provide food baskets as well as food and shopping vouchers to ensure that the needy do not go hungry, he said.
He elaborated that the items would be distributed through the respective coordinating agencies such as district offices, Johor Corporation and the Sultan Ibrahim Foundation.
In addition, he said RM661,000 derived from three months’ pay cut for the Mentri Besar and 10 executive councillors as well as civil servants and contributions from various government-linked companies would be channelled to Johor’s Disaster Relief Fund to fight the pandemic.
“We will form a special committee to ensure that the Ihsan Johor 3.0 initiatives are implemented accordingly and to monitor the progress.
“This committee will meet at least once every two weeks and update the people on its progress,” he said.