Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Govt announces new cash aid, telco credit schemes

Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat is expected to benefit some eight million Malaysians with incomes of between RM2,501 and RM5,000.

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Some eight million Malaysians will benefit from the government’s cash aid programme, which has been renamed Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) from the previous Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH).

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, when tabling the 2021 budget today, said the government is increasing its allocation from RM5 billion under BSH to RM6.5 billion under BPR, to benefit 8.1 million people.

Under the rebranded scheme, households with income of less than RM2,500 and one child will receive RM1,200, while those with two or more children will receive RM1,800.

Households with income of between RM2,501 and RM4,000 will receive RM800 (for those with one child), and RM1,200 (two or more children).

Households with income of between RM4,001 and RM5,000 will also be eligible for BPR. Those in this category will receive RM500 (for families with one child) and RM750 (two or more children).

A fourth category of recipients are single Malaysians who earn a monthly income of RM2,500 and below, who will receive RM350.

The government has also lowered the minimum age for singles eligible to receive the cash aid, from 40 to 21.

In the budget today, Putrajaya also announced the Jaringan Prihatin programme, allocating RM1.5 billion for the B40 low-income group to have greater access to the internet.

The programme will benefit eight million people, who will receive telecommunication credit worth RM180.

“This assistance can be used for their internet subscriptions or to partly pay for the cost of a new mobile phone.”

Zafrul said telecommunications companies will also offer free data packages worth RM1.5 billion.

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