KUALA LUMPUR: The Temporary Measures For Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)) Bill 2020 was passed at policy-level after being debated in the Parliament yesterday.
The Bill tabled by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz was approved by a majority vote after the third reading.
Earlier, MPs from the government and opposition blocs took part in debating the Bill at committee-level after being approved at the policy level.
Tengku Zafrul, when winding up the debate on the Bill, stressed that the payment of special allowances for the Health Ministry’s frontliners had been adequately provided.
“The government is aware that complaints of late payment of allowances have been received. The Finance Ministry has discussed with the Health Ministry to facilitate the process of claiming allowances; for example, allowing the approval of claims to be delegated to the heads of department.
“The Finance Ministry will continue to assist in this matter to ensure that the arrears of allowance payments are reduced,” he said in response to a question from Dr Kelvin Yii (PH-Kuching) regarding complaints of delays in the payment of allowances.
A sum of RM45 billion was allocated under the stimulus package and economic recovery plan with wage subsidy, job retention and workers’ hiring incentive, as well as training assistance programmes receiving the highest allocation totalling RM16.8 billion.
It also involved RM11.2 billion for the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional programme, small-scale projects (RM4 billion), and RM2 billion each for skills enhancement programme and Penjana SME Financing, Prihatin SME Grant (RM1.9 billion), electricity bill discounts (RM500 million), special aid for varsity students (RM300 million), and MY30 public transport subsidy (RM200 million). — Bernama