Sunday, September 26, 2021

More aid for the people after special Covid-19 assistance, says PM

Ismail Sabri Yaakob says the additional aid will be channelled from next month onwards.

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With payments of the Special Covid-19 Aid (BKC) to be paid out from today, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government would channel more assistance to the people starting next month.

In a video conference with Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) staff from his residence in Petaling Jaya to check on the BKC payment process, Ismail said this was among the forms of assistance to help ease the burden of the people affected by Covid-19.

“I hope all BKC payment processes planned by the finance ministry run smoothly. Hopefully, nothing untoward happens that can cause delays and so on,” he said.

Ismail, who has been under self-quarantine since Aug 30 after coming into close contact with a Covid-19 patient, also advised BSN staff to ensure that BKC recipients who come to collect the aid comply with SOPs to prevent Covid-19 transmission.

Joining the video conference were Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz who was at BSN Putrajaya and Deputy Finance Minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah who was at BSN in Bera, Pahang.

“Hopefully, what the government is giving today, although it may not be much, at least it can help reduce the people’s burden,” said Ismail, referring also to information from Zafrul that more assistance would be forthcoming for the people.

On Sept 1, Ismail announced that the BKC aid would be paid in stages with phase one payments credited from Sept 6 and expected to be completed by Sept 10, with funds amounting to RM3.1 billion already channelled to the relevant banking institutions for payments.

The BKC is to assist the hardcore poor, B40 households with total monthly incomes of RM5,000 and below and senior citizens, as well as singles with a monthly income of RM2,500 and below, based on the eligibility criteria under the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR 2021) aid package.

Those in the M40 group who report income tax with a total household income of RM5,001 to RM9,000 and RM2,501 to RM5,000 for singles are also eligible to receive BKC.

Under the BKC, households in the hardcore poor category will receive RM1,300 and eligible senior citizens and singles, RM500. For the B40 category, households will receive RM800 while eligible senior citizens and singles will receive RM200; while in the M40 category, households will receive RM250 and qualified senior citizens and singles, RM100.

Details on the BKC, including payment status, can be viewed at https://bkc.hasil.gov.my

Zafrul said the government would distribute various forms of assistance planned until the end of this year.

“The prime minister has agreed to proceed with this assistance,” he said.

This includes the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat phase three amounting to RM2.32 billion which will be channelled at the end of this month and assistance for loss of income in October.

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