PETALING JAYA: The government has announced a second wage subsidy scheme to assist companies that are still affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the subsidy would be given to companies who are experiencing revenue reduction of up to 30% compared to last year since the recovery movement control order (MCO).

A wage subsidy of RM600 monthly will be given to a maximum of 200 employees each for three months.

Muhyiddin said that the applications are open from Oct 1 until Dec 31.

He said that he received feedback that many companies were not eligible for the scheme because they were not registered with the Social Security Organisation (Socso) before April 1.

He said that to make sure they were not left behind, the second scheme would be open for companies that were registered with Socso before Aug 31.

“For new applications that have never received assistance under the Wage Subsidy Scheme programme, they will be eligible for subsidies for up to six months, ” he said in a special address on Wednesday (Sept 23) to announce a special assistance initiative package known as "Kita Prihatin".

He said that the implementation of the programme was expected to benefit 1.3mil workers and involved an allocation of RM2.4bil.

Muhyiddin also announced a Special Prihatin Grant (GKP) to help micro businesses that were facing financial difficulties because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that the applications for the GKP from May 1 to 15 had benefited 545,000 small businesses around the country, with an allocation of RM1.63bil.

He added that to ensure more of these micro businesses benefited from the GKP, the government agreed to reopen applications from Oct 1 to 31.

Muhyiddin said it would be open to business owners registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), or with local authorities before Aug 31, with payments to be made from Nov 25.

“The reopening of this initiative is expected to benefit more than 200,000 micro businesses, with an allocation of almost RM600mil, ” he said.