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KUALA TERENGGANU, March 28 -- Bus operators burdened with financing and rental debts following the COVID-19 pandemic are urged to immediately apply for the restructuring of installment payments from banking institutions and credit companies.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Deputy Minister Datuk Rosol Wahid said since the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)) Bill 2020 to help those affected by COVID-19 was gazetted in December last year, only about 25 per cent or 267 bus operators had applied for the restructuring.
“There are more than 1,000 bus operators nationwide but the number that have applied for the restructuring is less than 30 per cent. The results of an analysis found that as many as 75 per cent of bus operators have not made the application.
"This number is quite low given the problems they face. So we hope those (bus operators) who are in trouble would come and discuss with banking institutions or credit companies," he told reporters after officiating the Terengganu Bus Operators 2021 annual general meeting, here today.
He said of the 267 bus operators that had applied for restructuring, 195 were approved while the remaining 74 companies failed in their applications due to various factors such as high outstanding arrears.
In the meantime, Rosol said the bus operators' associations nationwide should play their roles in publicising the facility on restructuring installment payment so that more bus operators can enjoy the assistance provided by the government.
He said the government through other ministries also played their respective roles to help the group, among others through the Bus and Taxi Hire Purchase Rehabilitation Scheme, Perlindungan Ekonomi Dan Rakyat Malaysia (PERMAI), flexibility in borrowing conditions, 50 per cent exemption on all interest charges and payments as well as creating a Covid Mediation Centre (PMC).
He said the restructuring was also aimed at preventing their vehicles from being repossessed by banking institutions and credit companies when installment payments were not made.