Prihatin Tambahan aid should also reach unlicensed small traders, says don

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 6):  The government has been urged to not limit payouts from the additional RM10 billion in the Prihatin Tambahan economic stimulus package only to licensed small and medium enterprises (SMEs) registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) and local authorities.

Making the call, senior lecturer at Universiti Malaya’s Faculty of Economics and Administration Dr Mohammad Tawfik Yaakub said unlicensed small traders working from five-foot ways or from their houses also need help with household expenses.

“The Covid-19 impact transcends licence, race and politics, and the government should set aside differences and ensure assistance reaches the grassroots.

“Perhaps data from Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (Tekun Nasional), Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), village heads and local councils could help ensure the aid reaches these unlicensed traders,” he told Bernama.

”I agree with the government’s Prihatin Rakyat economic stimulus package announced earlier, but the main target group that drives the economy at the grassroots level are the small traders, for whom the aid disbursal from the extra RM10 billion injection should be expedited.

“Businesses have lost their sources of income for three weeks, and some small traders who rely totally on their daily income have been badly affected,” he said.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today announced an additional RM10 billion for SMEs under the Prihatin Rakyat economic stimulus package.

This includes a RM7.9 billion allocation for a wage subsidy scheme, up from the RM5.9 billion announced on March 27 and bringing the total to RM13.8 billion.

Local workers earning RM4,000 and below will receive a wage subsidy of between RM600 and RM1,200 for three months, depending on the number of workers employed in their company.

The Prime Minister said some 4.8 million workers are expected to benefit from the initiative.

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