KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — Acknowledging the lack of data faced by the government in allocating its Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) cash handouts for the M40 group, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Secretariat has today suggested for the government to channel it through the e-Tunai Rakyat programme instead.
According to PH, the e-Tunai Rakyat programme — with participation of over eight million Malaysian — had successfully identified those earning RM100,000 and below annually which made it easy for the government to identify which M40 individuals were eligible for receiving the handout and subsequently deposit the said amount directly into their e-wallets.
“The Secretariat acknowledged that the problem exists especially for the M40 group compared to B40 group, whereby the latter’s data is readily available in the Living Costs Aid scheme (BSH) system under the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN).
This direct step will ease the e-payment ecosystem encouraged by the government during the movement control order (MCO) enforced nationwide as contactless financial transactions could now be conducted smoothly,” it said in a joint statement comprising PKR, DAP and Amanah here.
PH also urged the government to consider the existing method of channelling said cash handouts for several reasons.
“First, even though Malaysians under the M40 category are taxpayers, LHDN does not possess their household income data as not all taxpayers file their tax returns as a household.
“Second, not all those in the M40 category have an income tax file. For example, a single individual with an income of RM2,500 who is eligible for the aid may not have a tax file as they were not qualified to pay taxes.
“Third, the BPN withdrawal process by LHDN will inconvenience many and then burden LHDN offices nationwide in charge of processing. Subsequently, this will delay the aid handout from their intended distribution timeframe,” it said.
The payments, part of the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package over the Covid-19 pandemic, will be made at the end of April and May, and includes households who earn RM4,000 and below.
BPN for households earning RM4,000 or less will be RM1,600, with an RM1,000 payment in April and RM600 in May. Households earning between RM4,001 to RM8,000 will receive RM1,000, with RM500 in April and May respectively.
Singles earning RM2,000 or less will receive BPN of RM800, with RM500 in April and RM300 in May, while singles earning RM2,001 to RM4,000 will receive RM500, with RM250 in April and May respectively.
According to the Finance Ministry, households and singles will receive the BPN via their bank accounts linked to BSH and LHDN, respectively.
For those who have not yet registered, new applications can be made starting on Wednesday (April 1) via LHDN’s website at www.hasil.gov.my.
The PH Secretariat also suggested for the Prime Minister to appoint Khazanah Nasional to assist the government in distributing aid for the M40 through their e-wallets after considering the strategic fund’s success in executing the e-Tunai Rakyat programme previously.
“PH is also prepared to work together with the government to propose ideas, experience and expertise from its line of MP for the sake of fighting Covid-19 and saving the country’s economy,” it added.
On Friday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the RM250 billion stimulus package, which includes the first RM20 billion already announced on February 27.
The package is broken down as RM25 billion fiscal injection from the government, RM50 billion from the Employees’ Provident Fund, and RM175 billion from banks. — Malay Mail