Employees affected by MCO to be aided by wage subsidy programme

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (file photo)

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, March 27: The federal government has introduced a wage subsidy programme to assist employers who faced financial burden as a result of the movement control order (MCO) period.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the initiative during a press conference to unveil a more comprehensive economic stimulus package in stimulating the country’s economy affected by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Malaysia.

“The federal government will introduce a wage subsidy programme to assist employers to retain their staff.

“In this challenging economic situation, I do not want to witness workers being retrenched  and lose their income.

“Through this program, the federal government will provide RM600 for each worker for three months.

“This programme is specially for those earning RM4,000 and below and employers who has suffered 50 per cent in sales since January 2020,” he said during a press conference in Putrajaya today.

He stressed that employers must not retrench their workers or ask their employees to take unpaid leave during the three months when the program is implemented.

He added employers are not allowed to deduct the salary of their employees during the three months’ period.

Muhyiddin disclosed that the assistance is expected to benefit 3.3 million workers with an allocation of RM5.9 billion.

Besides, he also announced that the federal government will provide salary for contract service workers during the MCO period in a trade off deal with contractors.

Besides, Muhyiddin said the federal government has allowed small and medium industries (SMI) to extend their instalment payment of income tax for three months starting April 1.

He explained that the initiative will help to alleviate some of the cash flow problems faced by SMI.

He noted the initiative will benefit some 750,000 SMI throughout the country.

Muhyiddin said the deferment of income tax payment to SMI was similar to the measure given to tourism players for six months earlier as their businesses were affected by the MCO due to Covid-19.

He outlined that for other sectors affected by the MCO, the businesses are allowed to move their instalment payment for their third, sixth and ninth months out of their total taxable income in their financial year.—DayakDaily