Sim Kiang Chiok: Budget 2022 inclusive, right approach in addressing economy and people’s welfare

Dato Sim Kiang Chiok

KUCHING, Oct 30: Budget 2022 shows the government is taking the right approach in addressing the country’s economy and welfare of the people affected by Covid-19, opined Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Stakan branch chairman Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok.

According to Sim, the Federal government has decided to continue the cash assistance to assist the B40 and M40 households.

“RM500 for single parents earning less than RM5,000 a month and RM300 for households with senior citizens. ‘Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia’ will benefit 9.6 million people with an allocation of RM8.2 billion.

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“This includes the RM2,000 given to households with more than three children and earning less than RM2,500 a month,” he said in a statement today.

Sim noted, the government has also taken the initiative to reduce the unemployment rate from 4.6 per cent to 4 per cent, through the ‘JaminKerja’ or ‘Job Guarantee’ initiative.

He said the unemployment rate was 4.6 per cent as of August 2021 and the government will introduce the ‘JaminKerja’ job placement scheme aimed at putting 600,000 people to work.

Under this scheme, he explained, the government will subsidise 20 per cent of the salary for the first six months and 30 per cent for the next six months. However, this scheme is limited to salaries below RM1,500 only.

“JaminKerja will also incentivise the hiring of disabled persons with higher subsidies, with 30 per cent for the first six months and 40 per cent for the next six months. This is limited to salaries below RM1,200 only. Malaysia’s poverty line is a monthly income of RM2,280.

“The government has also allocated RM450 million to purchase tablets for 600,000 B40 undergraduates,” added Sim.

Meanwhile, Sim, who is also Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) chairman, welcomed the Federal government’s announcement that the Real Property Gains Tax (RGPT) will not be applied for property being disposed after the 6th year.

He pointed out that the RM2 billion guarantee for purchase of property for those without proper documentation of income is good for the property market.

“However, no announcement on the stamp duties exemption extension which will end Dec 31, 2021 for property transaction as in Home ownership Campaign which is still much needed by the property market.

“The RPGT will not be applied for properties sold after the sixth year and the existing RPGT structure for properties sold before the sixth year stays,” he said.

Touching on the RM40 billion allocation for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for loans by banks, Sim is optimistic that such an initiative would help the SMEs to recapitalise their business.

However, he said that there is no mention of the lending guidelines which should also be relaxed so that even loss making companies can qualify.

“Among the loans provided through the allocation are RM1.8 billion in micro-credit financing schemes through Tekun, Agrobank, Bank Simpanan Nasional, Bank Rakyat and Bank Negara Malaysia, RM20 million for i-Tekad programme and RM40 billion for funding programmes for entrepreneurs,” he said. — DayakDaily

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