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PENJANA proves govt's concern, but will CMCO be extended?

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) was unveiled yesterday to empower the people and stimulate the economy following the global COVID-19 pandemic, but many are still wondering whether the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), which is supposed to end this Tuesday, will be extended.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, the country was placed under the Movement Control Order (MCO) since March 18 and then the CMCO, since May 4, - which have helped the Health Ministry to flatten the infection curve.

The implementation of the MCO , witnessed a declining trend in the number of daily COVID-19 positive cases involving Malaysians, which has now dropped to a one digit number, but the frontliners still have to work hard to reduce the increasing number of positive cases among foreigners in the country.

Whether MCO will be extended or not, the people still have to get use to the new normal in their daily routine to ensure a healthy and clean society.

On the PENJANA announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday, it features 40 initiatives worth RM35 billion to boost sustainable economic recovery.

Aware of the people's concern of losing their jobs and source of income as many economic activities had been badly affected following the implementation of the MCO, the government is allocating almost RM9 billion, which will be channelled through various initiatives to tackle the rising rate of unemployment and to ensure job sustainability for the benefit of three million workforce in the country.

The initiatives include the extension of the wage subsidy programme worth over RM5 billion, the hiring and training assistance for businesses with a quantum of RM1.5 billion, as well as the reskilling and upskilling programme for youth and the unemployed worth RM2 billion.

Under PENJANA, the government is also giving a full sales tax exemption on locally-assembled passenger cars in an effort to promote the growth of the country's automotive industry and a 50 per cent sales tax exemption for imported passenger cars for the period of June 15 to Dec 31, 2020.

To boost parents' confidence to send their children back to childcare centres, the government is providing a special grant to childcare centre or nursery operators to ensure compliance with the MCO standard operating procedures (SOP).

Prior to PENJANA, the government had also introduced several other economic stimulus packages including the PRIHATIN package and the additional PRIHATIN SME package totalling RM260 billion.

Apart from the good news on the economic recovery plan, another is on the COVID-19 situation in the country which is improving with only 19 positive cases detected yesterday, from 277 cases the previous day.

-- BERNAMA