Saturday, 04 Apr 2020
GENERAL
25/03/2020 09:57 PM

GEORGE TOWN, March 25 -- The Penang government today announced a RM75 million aid package which is expected to benefit about 410,000 recipients in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, at a live media conference through his Facebook, said that last March 17, the state government had announced COVID-19 aid incentives worth RM20 million, but after studying the issues that cropped up over the past few days, approved another RM75 million for the purpose.

The aid package included a one-off cash payment of RM500 each to 14,012 licensed petty traders and hawkers, 1,367 registered tour guides, 18,657 welfare aid recipients of the Social Welfare Department, an increase of RM200 in annual incentive to 2,248 taxi drivers and 318 trishaw pullers, as well as a one-off cash RM300 to 10,000 e-hailing drivers, he added.

Chow also announced a special one-off payment of RM300 to frontline staff, who included 4,791 employees of the local government authorities and 10,511 employees of federal government departments and agencies in the state, such as the Health Department, Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysian Armed Forces, Immigration Department, Civil Defense Force and the Volunteer Department of Malaysia.

Apart from that, he said, the state government also allocated RM10 million for the procurement of personal protective equipment, such as face mask, hand sanitiser, infrared thermometers, etc.

The state government, he said, also agreed to exempt the 4,860 families occupying Rumah Sewa Kerajaan Negeri (RSKN) and the People’s Housing Project (PPR) from paying their house rentals for two months, and one-month rental for traders occupying the 10,999 business premises owned by the state government and local authorities.

“The state government will also introduce the Penang Business Continuity Zero Interest Loan for micro entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” he added.

Other form of assistance announced by the state government, included a one-off cash payment of RM500 to COVID-19 positive patients, RM1,000 to the bnext-of-kin of COVID-19 patients who died, a one-off special financial assistance of RM1,000 to mosques and RM500 to surau, as well as RM3 million in tithe for distribution to those eligible.

-- BERNAMA

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