PETALING JAYA: The government will consider increasing the initial RM450mil allocation for 15 million people in the e-Tunai Rakyat initiative should the number of applicants increase, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Estimating the increase of applicants to be around another one million people, he said the government can still afford to foot the extra expenditure.
“Should the initial allocation be met, Malaysians who have registered need not worry they may lose out, ’’ he said after a walkabout at the SS2 morning market here following the Wednesday launch of the initiative yesterday.
Lim also met with petty traders who recently adopted the e-wallet application as an additional method of financial transaction.
The claims for the e-Tunai Rakyat initiative kicked off on Wednesday with Touch ‘n Go eWallet, Boost and GrabPay selected to be the service providers for the project.
Lim said RM10mil expenditure was recorded on all three service providers on the first day, adding that the overwhelming response in people going cashless will provide a boost in local consumption.
“As of 10pm on Wednesday, there were 380,000 applications for the e-Tunai Rakyat on selected e-wallet service providers, and 320,000 of them have been approved.
“We expect more to come on board and adopt e-wallet and apply for the initiative before it ends, ’’ he said.
The government, said Lim, will embark on a road tour nationwide to promote the initiative.He called on Malaysians to register and claim the amount before March 9.
The initiative will run for two months until March 14, after which any unspent amount will be forfeited.
Malaysians aged 18 and above and who earn less than RM100,000 annually will be eligible to receive RM30 each through any of the participating e-wallets.
The RM30 can be used to purchase goods and services available through the respective e-wallet of their choice.
Meanwhile, MCA criticised the government over its lack of proper planning for the roll-out of the e-Tunai Rakyat initiative, which saw e-wallet systems overwhelmed by the response.
Party president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said that proper planning would have ensured that there would be no difficulty in redeeming the e-Tunai Rakyat.
“I am not protesting that incentives are being given to the people. If not, of course I would have protested when the Barisan Nasional government introduced BR1M (1Malaysia People’s Aid) previously.
“However, the main problem here is the system, ” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.