Govt to announce stimulus package on Feb 27 to ease Covid-19 impact


  • Nation
  • Friday, 14 Feb 2020

PETALING JAYA: An economic stimulus package aimed at propping up the economy following the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak will be announced by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Feb 27.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic) said the stimulus package was to mitigate the adverse external economic impacts of the outbreak on Malaysia while preserving the welfare of the rakyat.

The package, which will be introduced by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at 4.30pm on a Thursday (Feb 20), would neither be a new budget nor a part of Budget 2020 measures, said Lim.

“Instead, assistance will be given to the affected sectors to allow the economy to emerge as whole as possible and benefit from the expected economic rebound post-Covid-19.

“Whilst the market is facing serious challenges, we should not despair but instead persevere to allow our industries to survive so that the country is ready to benefit from the economic rebound once the Covid-19 threat is over.

“Cashflow is the principle concern and the affected companies must ensure that they remain viable, operational and capable of reaping the benefits when the economic rebound takes place,” said Lim in his statement released on Friday (Feb 14).

He added that while the government would adopt measures to assist these companies, emphasis would also be placed on exploring alternative revenues, such as shifting towards encouraging domestic tourism and sourcing from other markets.

“This also involves keeping the domestic labour market resilient while ensuring our soft and physical infrastructure remains in place amid the short-term weakened demand,” he said.

He added that the Finance Ministry was currently preparing the economic stimulus programme and was working with the Ministries of Economic Affairs, Transport, Tourism, Arts and Culture, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, as well as various agencies.

Consultations with the main players in the tourism, logistics and finance sectors had been conducted, said Lim, adding that meetings had also been held with small and medium enterprises, as well as government-linked funds and companies.

He described the Health Ministry’s efforts in containing the Covid-19 outbreak without engendering public panic despite frequent episodes of fake news as a “tremendous job”.

“Our health professionals deserve all the support they require to overcome this challenge,” he said.

Lim also called on all Malaysians to put aside their differences and come together as “one nation and one people”.

“Whilst the government is helping the affected industries, we hope the industry players will play their part in assisting their clients and suppliers so that all can survive this challenge and benefit from the post-Covid-19 rebound,” said Lim.
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