Second phase of Prihatin payout to start May 4

KUALA LUMPUR: The second phase of the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) payout will begin on May 4, says the Finance Minister.

Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said it would cover all eligible recipients in the bottom 40 (B40) and middle 40 (M40) groups.

“As of April 26, more than 3.26 million new applications and appeals were received.

“They comprised 2.96 million new applications and 305,000 appeals, ” he said when tabling the third Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package Implementation report.

Tengku Zafrul also reminded that the deadline for the submission of applications and appeals for the one-off cash assistance was April 30 (tomorrow).

“The payout announcement will be made next week following the completion of the review process, ” he said yesterday.

Under the first phase of the BPN handouts, the government disbursed RM5.47bil to 7.74 million recipients.

Tengku Zafrul said cash payments to those who did not have a bank account started on April 17.

The process proceeded smoothly with more than 157,000 people having received the cash aid at Bank Simpanan Nasional branches nationwide.

On the easy financing facilities to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) made available since March 6, Tengku Zafrul said RM4.5bil of the RM6.3bil fund administered by Bank Negara Malaysia had been approved for 8,500 SMEs up to last Sunday.

“Regarding the (RM2.1bil) Special Prihatin Grant for micro enterprises, they can begin applying for the grant (of RM3,000 per company) from this Friday.

“The application process will be overseen and announced by the Inland Revenue Board in the near future, ” he said.

On the Wage Subsidy Programme to assist employers in retaining their workers, Tengku Zafrul said up to April 26, the government had approved applications from 195,000 employers involving 1.5 million workers compared with 159,000 employers involving one million workers a week earlier.

The programme has a total allocation of RM5.9bil, which is estimated to benefit 3.3 million workers. — Bernama

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