KUCHING: Sarawak has announced a RM1.15 billion Stimulus Package to help the people in the state face the economic uncertainties brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak and restrictions during the Movement Control Order (MCO).
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg said there would be 16 initiatives under stimulus package named 'Sarawakku Sayang Special Aid Package'.
He said it involved a direct expenditure by the Sarawak government amounting to RM974.75 million to mitigate the impact of the economic slowdown and reduce the burden of Sarawakians brought about by Covid-19.
This is further supplemented by deferment of loan repayment, waiver of payments and discount of Sarawak government basic services amounting to RM179.79 million for the year 2020, he said.
“The package is a balanced people and business-centric model to cushion the impact of economic slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“At the same time, this is over and above our continuous efforts to steer Sarawak economy towards a developed state by 2030.
“The GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government shares the pain of the rakyat during this trying time. We do not know when this pandemic will end but let us go through this together for Sarawak.
"Let us pray for the betterment of Sarawak,” he said in a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here, today.
Abang Johari said the first initiative is in the form of a 5 per cent to 25 per cent discount on monthly electricity bill from April to September, benefiting 686,847 domestic, commercial and industrial consumers with an average monthly electricity bill discount of RM27.8 million and cost cumulative discount amounting to RM166.8 million.
The second initiative he said involved a 10 per cent to 25 per cent discount on water bill between April to September benefiting 568,247 consumers with an average cost of monthly water bill discount of RM4.2 million and cumulative discounted costs amounting to RM25.26 million.
The third initiative he said will see as many as 430,000 Sarawakians from the B40 low-income category receiving a monthly cash aid of RM250 for six months with the financial provision amounting to RM645 million.
Abang Johari said the fourth initiative would focus on frontliners managing Covid-19 outbreak in Sarawak
“A RM300 special incentives provided to medical doctors, nurses and medical staff, RM200 assistance to immigration officers, police, Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), Rela volunteers with a total allocation of RM17.35 million,” he said.
He added that the fifth approach will see 50 per cent discount provided on stall rentals for a six-month period, the sixth initiative involved the exemption of permit and licence payments for business owners, night market traders, Pasar Tamu cum Ramadan bazaar’s, while the seventh initiative is a 25 per cent discount on residential, commercial and industrial tax amounting to more than RM400.
Abang Johari said the eighth initiative will see a nine-month suspension of loans from the Small and Medium Industries Loan Scheme (SPIKS), the ninth initiative an additional RM20 million funding provided for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the tenth being a 30 per cent discount for quit rent payment.
The 11th initiative will see the Sarawak government suspend for one time the land premium payment, while the 12th initiative will see hotel licencing fees being exempted once and the 13th initiative will see two million face masks being distributed for free to Sarawakians.
On the 14th initiative, Abang Johari said it provides a special support to frontline personnel who carry out Covid-19 testing, diagnosis, and care, while the 15th initiative provides food supplies to frontline personnel followed by the 16th initiative which will see the state providing a 50 per cent discount for six months on HDC housing rental.
Source : https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/03/577410/sarawak-cm-announces-rm115bil-aid-package