JOHOR BAHRU, March 25 -- The Johor state government has allocated RM150 million to implement 32 incentives under the state's economic stimulus package to address the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said six incentives totaling RM12.5 million were announced on March 20, 15 incentives totaling RM17.5 million announced today while the remaining 11 incentives totaling RM120 million would be announced from time to time.
Hasni said the incentives announced today included a special allocation of RM500,000 for the purchase of additional equipment and other basic necessities to be coordinated by the State Health Department to help health sector workers who are working hard to help deal with the outbreak.
He said the state government had also agreed to allocate RM200,000 to provide food supplies for police and military personnel working in the forefront during the movement control order (MCO) period, the arrangements to be made by the district offices using the state disaster fund.
“In addition payment of rent for housing and shops under the People's Housing Project (PPR) and Government Rented House (RSK) schemes in Johor will be waived from April to June.
“The move to benefit 2,989 tenants will involve an estimated cost of RM4.8 million.
“In order to help the B40 group who have lost their source of income, we have agreed to defer rental payment for those who have bought the Type A affordable homes under the Johor Prihatin Housing Scheme (SPPJ) “ he said in a Facebook Live feed today.
Hasni said the state government would also add another RM600,000 to expand the Food Bank programme to provide the B40 group especially the poor, e-kasih, zakat and welfare aid recipients with daily food supplies.
He said the government had also agreed to postpone loan payments for 2,000 students studying in higher learning institutions under the Johor Education Foundation starting from April until June 2020.
In addition, students living in hostels at public higher learning institutions in Johor during the MCO duration will be given aid from an allocation of RM370,000, where one off payment of between RM30,000 to RM50,000 will be channeled to each institution to cater for the students’needs.
“The state government has also agreed to defer loan payments for students studying in Egypt and Jordan under the Johor Islamic Religious Council (MAIJ) starting April until June 2020 and 800 students in Egypt and 200 students in Jordan will each be given a one-off aid of RM200,” he said.
Students studying and living in religious school hostels registered under MAIJ will benefit from a RM300,000 provision, where each school will be allocated between RM5,000 and RM10,000.
Hasni said the state government had also called on the local authorities to provide funds for the purchase of face masks for distribution to those in essential services and have been required to work during the MCO.
Hasni said it was agreed to set up a Johor Economic Taskforce (JET) to be headed by state secretary Datuk Azmi Rohani.
The committee comprising representatives from various government departments and agencies including the State Economic Planning Division would act as a secretariat in integrating all information and action plans to deal with the uncertain economic situation following the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The state government will continue to identify additional incentives to be announced from time to time to help reduce the burden faced by the people of Johor and those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak," he added.
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