Zafrul: Phase 2 of BPN payout extended to May 22

KUALA LUMPUR: The second phase of the National Prihatin Aid (BPN) payout which was scheduled to end last week has been extended to May 22 due to some technical constraints.

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said to date 7.61 million recipients for the second phase of BPN had received payments totalling RM3.41 bil, representing 93% of the allocation for the phase.

“Of the 2.3 million eligible recipients for new applications and appeals, payments began on May 15. To date, 830,000 have received their BPN payments totalling RM620 mil,” he said when presenting the Prihatin-Laksana’s sixth accomplishment report here today.

Following the extension of the appeal process announced last week, the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) is processing the appeals, he added.

“Applicants are reminded to submit their appeal immediately, before the closing date which has been extended to May 31,” said Zafrul.

As for the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) i-Lestari programme, he said, it had received 4.4 million applications with 3.9 million approved as of May 17, an increase of 3.7 million from last week with total payments of RM1.83 bil a month.

For the reduction in the EPF contribution to 7% from 11%, he said the total reduction in contribution estimated to be received by EPF members for May is RM923.5 mil.

He also said that more workers chose to maintain their contributions at 11%, accounting for 1.5 million or 20% of the EPF contributors as of May 17, compared with 1.2 million contributors in April.

On the wage subsidy, Zafrul said RM2.24 bil had been approved for 267,752 employers as of May 17, involving two million workers.

On the SME Soft Loans Funds, he said as of May 17, applications approved by local banks and the SMEs was RM5.8 bil, benefitting 14,075 SMEs.

The total funds managed by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) includes the Special Relief Facility (SRF), Agrofund and Takaful Insurance for Covid-19 screening.

“Demand for SRF was very encouraging and the initial allocation of RM5 bil was fully utilised quickly. In fact, as announced by the BNM last week, more than 20,000 applications totalling about RM10 bil have been approved by financial institutions offering these SRFs.

“Due to the overwhelming response, BNM has added another RM5 bil in allocation to meet the number of applications which have been approved,” he said.

Of the approved figures, RM5.75 bil had been approved to 13,908 SMEs while the remaining RM4.25 bil are undergoing a post-approval process including applications for guarantees and approvals by the applicants. – May 19, 2020, Bernama

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