3 Sep - 2 min read
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz has announced that a total of RM3.1 billion will be paid out to B40 and M40 recipients starting from 6 September 2021 and 9 September 2021, respectively, under Phase 1 of the Bantuan Khas COVID-19 (BKC).
The first phase of payments will benefit 4.4 million households, 1.1 million senior citizens who are single or without a partner, and 4.5 million single individuals. “Overall, this cash assistance initiative is expected to benefit almost 10 million households and individuals with senior citizens and singles with an allocation of RM4.6 billion,” said the finance minister during the latest National Economic Implementation and Strategic Coordination Agency (LAKSANA) report, adding that BKC payments are scheduled to be made in September, November, and December this year.
For context, the BKC aid was first announced back in June 2021 during the unveiling of the PEMULIH stimulus package by then Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. It is a direct cash assistance to alleviate the financial burden faced by Malaysians due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The payout amount differs according to income categories, namely hardcore poor, B40, and M40 for both households and single or senior citizens living alone.
Aside from announcing the first phase of the BKC payments, Tengku Zafrul also shared updates regarding other initiatives, such as the Jaringan Prihatin programme. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of Budget 2022, which the Ministry of Finance (MoF) is seeking feedback for.
“This may be the country’s most important recovery budget ever, so we must be as inclusive as possible in crafting it. Apart from assistance for the people, Budget 2022 will set the direction of the Malaysian economy post-pandemic in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan which will be tabled in the next Parliament session,” Tengku Zafrul said. Notably, MoF had – for the very first time in Malaysia – prepared a Pre-Budget 2022 statement to increase public confidence in the country’s fiscal management.
“In line with the concept of ‘Keluarga Malaysia’, I will meet as many parties for cross-party discussions including Opposition, non-governmental organisations and various other stakeholders to ensure the presentation of an inclusive budget for all Malaysians,” said Tengku Zafrul. He further added that as of Tuesday, MoF has already carried out engagement sessions with various bodies, including the Khazanah Research Institute, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs and the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia.
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