New Straits Times

Guan Eng: 4.1m to get Bantuan Sara Hidup


PUTRAJAYA: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday outlined the mechanisms behind the measures adopted by the government to reduce the country’s debt and reduce the people’s burden.

He said 4.1 million recipients would benefit from the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) programme, or Cost of Living Aid, formerly known as 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M).

The second tranche of the BSH payment, with an allocation of RM1.6 billion, would be disbursed beginning Wednesday.

He said the government hoped BSH would help the people buy goods and prepare for Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

He said the payment would be credited into recipients’ bank accounts.

“For those who do not have bank accounts, an approval letter will be mailed to the recipient, and this can be redeemed at any Bank Simpanan Nasional branch,” he said at the Finance Ministry here yesterday.

Based on the previous BR1M payout schedule, the second phase scheduled for Wednesday involves a payment of RM400 to households and e-Kasih recipients with a monthly income of RM3,000 and below a month, as well as senior citizens.

Households earning between RM3,001 and RM4,000 a month will get RM300.

The third phase of previous BR1M payment for both categories, at the same rate, was scheduled for August.

Lim said inquiries could be directed to 1800-88-2716 or email

On the Hari Raya Aidilfitri assistance for civil servants and government pensioners, he said the move would cost the government RM700 million.

“Out of 1.6 million civil servants, 1.2 million of them will benefit from the assistance.”

On the Goods and Services Tax, which is zero-rated from today, he said the Sales Tax Bill 2018 and Service Tax Bill 2018 would be tabled in Parliament in the sitting this month.

“The Sales and Services Tax (SST) will be implemente­d from Sept 1. We estimate a revenue of RM4 billion. This conservati­ve estimate is due to the fact that the SST revenue will only be fully realised from November onwards, taking into account the bimonthly tax collection mechanism for local manufactur­ers.”

On fuel prices, Lim said effective June 7, the retail price of RON97 would be set based on market prices and reviewed every Thursday, according to the managed float mechanism.

He said the stabilisat­ion of RON95 petrol prices at RM2.20 per litre and diesel at RM2.18 per litre would save Malaysians RM3 billion.

However, he said, targeted petrol subsidies for cars below 1300cc and motorcycle­s 125cc and below would be done only when the country’s financial situation improved.

For the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebratio­n, Lim encouraged toll concession­aires to continue the toll discounts implemente­d during previous festive seasons to reduce travelling costs.

He echoed Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s announceme­nt that a 50 per cent discount on toll fares would be given on the last two days of Ramadan.

Lim said implementi­ng these measures would not be easy.

“We believe that, together, we can reduce our RM1 trillion Federal Government debt.

“Despite fiscal pressure, the country’s economic fundamenta­ls remain strong.

“The banking sector is well capitalise­d, with low non-performing loans ratio, and there is sufficient liquidity in the capital markets.”

 ?? FILE PIC ?? Kuala Perlis folk with their 1Malaysia People’s Aid vouchers during a handing-out ceremony in Kangar last year.
FILE PIC Kuala Perlis folk with their 1Malaysia People’s Aid vouchers during a handing-out ceremony in Kangar last year.

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