Thursday, June 4

Free face masks, utility bill discounts among 16 measures in Sarawak aid package

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Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has announced 16 measures under the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance Package to help Sarawakians face challenging times now now due to the economic slum and the Covid-19 outbreak. — Bernama file photo

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has announced 16 measures under the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance Package to help Sarawakians face challenging times now now due to the economic slum and the Covid-19 outbreak.

Costing the state government more than RM1.1 billion, the package is expected to benefit all Sarawakians, including the frontliners in the fight against the viral outbreak.

The 16 measures are:

MEASURE 1: ELECTRICITY BILL DISCOUNT
Domestic, Commercial and Industrial consumers given a discount of five per cent to 25 per cent on monthly electricity bill for April until September 2020, benefitting 686,847 users. The average cost for monthly electricity bill discount is RM27.8 million and the cumulative cost amounts to RM166.8 million. This special one-off discount of the electric bill will be borne by the Sarawak Government.

MEASURE 2: WATER BILL DISCOUNT
Domestic, Commercial and Industrial consumers given discount of 10 per cent to 25 per cent on their monthly water bill for April until September 2020. This special one-off discount will benefit 568,247 consumers throughout the State.
The average cost for monthly water bill discount is around RM4.2 million and the cumulative cost is RM25.26 million. This will be borne by the Sarawak Government.

MEASURE 3: BANTUAN KHAS SARAWAKKU SAYANG
430,000 Sarawakian from the low income category, the B40 group will be provided a monthly cash pay-out of RM250 for 6-months. This measure will cost Sarawak Government RM645 million.

MEASURE 4: SPECIAL MONTHLY INCENTIVES FOR FRONTLINE PERSONNEL INVOLVED IN COVID-19
To honour the personal sacrifice and commitment of the front-liners who are directly exposed to coronavirus risk while performing their duty in managing the outbreak in Sarawak, the state government will provide special monthly incentives for six months:

  • RM300 to 6,232 Medical doctors, nurses and medical personnel who are working tirelessly in hospitals and clinics throughout Sarawak.
  • RM200 to Immigration officers manning the entry points throughout Sarawak, police and Bilik Gerakan Negeri officers, Malaysian Armed Forces who are manning the borders and those helping the police in maintaining law and order and RELA Personnel.

This measure will cost Sarawak Government RM17.35 million.

MEASURE 5: DISCOUNT FOR RENTAL OF MARKET AND STALLS
A discount of 50 per cent for rental of market and stalls covering a period of six months up to September 2020. This assistance is expected to benefit more than 10,000 hawkers renting the market and stalls particularly under the purview of local councils.

MEASURE 6: WAIVER OF PERMITS AND LICENSES FEES
Waiver of permits and licenses fees for traders, hawkers, night market traders, Tamu and bazaar Ramadhan operations. It will benefit over two million permits and licensed holders in the various local authorities throughout Sarawak.It will cost the government RM8.24 million for the year 2020.

MEASURE 7: 25 PER CENT DISCOUNT ON ASSESSMENT RATE
A discount of 25 per cent on annual assessment rate above RM400 threshold given to residential, commercial, industrial and special purpose holdings for the year 2020. This measure will benefit more than 185,000 premises. It will cost the government RM74.58 million in 2020.

MEASURE 8: DEFERMENT OF LOAN REPAYMENT FOR SKIM PINJAMAN INDUSTRI KECIL DAN SEDERHANA (SPIKS)
As a measure to ease the SMEs cash flow and lessen their financial burden, loan repayment deferred for nine months effective from April 2020. This will benefit 144 outstanding borrowers of Skim Pinjaman Industri Kecil dan Sederhana (SPIKS), and will improve cash flow of SMEs amounting to RM1.3 million.

MEASURE 9: ADDITIONAL RM20 MILLION MICRO-CREDIT SCHEMES FOR ALL SMEs
On top of existing RM30 million micro-credit funds, Sarawak Government will offer additional RM20.0 million for SMEs to expand their business and to sustain their businesses.

MEASURE 10: 30 PER CENT DISCOUNT FOR LAND RENT
30 per cent discount for payments of land rents to all land uses for the year 2020. These measures will benefit 52,403 commercials, industrial, residential, large scale plantations and other public facilities. This will ease the burden of the rakyat and will cost Sarawak government RM11.84 million.

MEASURE 11: DEFERMENT OF LAND PREMIUMS
One-off Deferment payment for land premium for the year 2020 will benefit 1,721 stakeholders across Sarawak, which includes Agriculture, residential, commercial and industrial units as well as private and public institutions.

MEASURE 12: WAIVER OF HOTEL LICENSE FEES FOR LICENSED HOTELS AND LODGING HOUSES
A one-off waiver for Hotel licensing fees for 17,289 Hotel Rooms throughout Sarawak for the year 2020. The incentive will benefit over 340 Hoteliers and lodging houses. This will cost Sarawak Government RM386,630.

MEASURE 13: FREE FACE MASK
Sarawak Government have placed an order of two million pieces of face masks to be distributed free to Sarawakians through the State Disaster Management Committee. This will cost the state government almost RM3 million. Distribution will be through the district or divisional offices.

MEASURE 14: URGENT HOSPITAL NEEDS AND PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENTS (PPE)
Providing dedicated support to physicians and practices on the front lines of testing, diagnosing, and treating patients at risk of Covid-19. Costs include acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies. This will cost Sarawak Government RM10 Million.

MEASURE 15: FOOD FOR ALL FRONT-LINERS DURING MCO
Providing dedicated supports of food supplies to physicians and practitioners on the front lines of testing, diagnosing, and treating patients at risk of Covid-19. Costs include purchase of food supplies. This will cost Sarawak Government RM1 Million.

MEASURE 16: HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (HDC) RENTAL DISCOUNT OF 50 PER CENT FOR SIX MONTHS
A discount of 50 per cent for rental of HDC Houses rental scheme covering a period of six (6) months up to September 2020. This assistance is expected to benefit more than 3,200 customers renting HDC houses throughout Sarawak.