Saturday, September 25

End-month payout set for BKSS 2020 recipients yet to receive cash aid, assures EPU

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KUCHING: The 78,123 households from the low-income B40 group whose eligibility for the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 2020 is based on the updated Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) list, should receive their aid payments at the end of this month.

According to Sarawak Economic Planning Unit (EPU), this figure pertains to the recipients who have yet to receive the payout.

It also informs that the total recipients include the approved 28,372 B40 households who have made appeals through their respective district offices and also via the online system.

“Therefore, the 78,123 B40 households will be paid at end of July 2020.

“The estimated expenditure is RM117.18 million,” the EPU said in a statement yesterday.

As for BKSS for eligible single Sarawakians aged 21 and above, with monthly earning of below RM2,000, it identified 270,863 recipients as not having received the payment yet.

“This number also includes the approved 127,819 who have appealed through the district offices and also via the online system.

“Therefore, all 270,863 single individuals eligible for the BKSS will be paid end of July 2020, with an estimated expenditure of RM135.43 million,” said the unit.

The EPU statement was issued to update the public regarding the progress of BKSS 2020, implemented to address the pain points of societal needs as well as those of industries across level of societal classes and scale of business entities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The state government has received negative comments and also concerns from the people who feel that they deserve the assistance, but have not received it.

“These concerns are mainly on the BKSS for the eligible B40 households earning below RM4,000 per month; and BKSS for eligible single Sarawakians aged 21 and above, earning below RM2,000 per month,” it said, adding that the total number of eligible BKSS B40 households is 369,139.

The total includes those listed in BSH 2019 (406,234 number of B40 households) and BSH 2020 (369,139 number of updated B40 households, including appeals to Inland Revenue Board, or LHDN).

A total of 406,234 B40 households who are BKSS recipients, based on BSH 2019 list, have received their payments – the total expenditure is RM304.68 million.

The total number of eligible BKSS B40 single recipients is 419,395. This number includes those listed in BSH 2019 and 2020 (updated based on appeals to LHDN), whereby 114,683 B40 single-status recipients have received payments – the total expenditure is RM57.21 million.

“The first list for the BKSS slated for eligible B40 households was based on BSH 2019, as it was the only one available from LHDN.

“Thus, there have been many complaints by some who said they were eligible for BKSS but were not listed. Additionally, there were also requests from Single Sarawakian for the assistance as they were also affected by the pandemic.

“In response, the Sarawak government opened for appeal for both B40 segments, which was closed on May 31. On June 19, we received BSH 2020 list from LHDN for 369,139 eligible B40 households and 419,395 eligible B40 single Sarawakians,” said the EPU.

It added that subsequently, it was able to verify the appeal list to accommodate those who were eligible but not listed in BKSS for both 53,472 B40 households and 147,501 B40 single Sarawakians.

“The total expenditure requirements are RM80.21 million for B40 households, and RM73.75 million for B40 single Sarawakians,” it said.

The EPU also updated on the status of implementation for other cash payment incentives under the BKSS, such as the special monthly incentives for the frontline personnel, assistance for hawkers and petty traders, incentive for owners and operators of the ‘penambang’ (traditional chartered boats), incentive for licensed van operators, taxi drivers and school bus/van operators, as well as special grant assistance to licensed tourist and park guides.

As at June 30, the Sarawak government’s total expenditure for all BKSS 1.0, BKSS 2.0 and BKSS 3.0 was RM1,451.99 million – so far, it had paid out a total amount of RM745.612 million for BKSS 2020.