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Manufacturers urge govt to extend Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0 by three months

FMM In The News: NEW STRAITS TIMES, KUALA LUMPUR, Monday, January 18, 2021 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) believes that the host of initiatives rolled out in the Perlindungan Ekonomi dan Rakyat Malaysia (Permai) assistance package will assist the business sector in weathering economic uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai, however, said manufacturers are hoping that the government would extend the Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0 for employers to three months from the one month period announced.

"The industry welcomes the relaxation of the conditions to qualify for the Employment Insurance System Programme (SIP Prihatin) for those who lost their jobs; exemption of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) levy contribution for companies unable to operate during the Movement Control Order (MCO) and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO); and the extension of targeted loan moratorium and restructuring of loan repayment.  

"While we welcome the Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0 which has been extended to cover 500 employees in a company for one month, the FMM hopes for it to be extended for three months since there would be a cascading impact on businesses when they resume operations after the MCO," he said in a statement today.  

Soh also praised the government for enhancing the scope and financing limit of the Danajamin Prihatin Guarantee Scheme (SJPD) and for extending the special tax deduction to companies that offer rental discounts to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and non-SMEs until June 30.  

The industry players, he said, also commend the government's move to accelerate the implementation of the Microcredit Schemes and for implementing the SME and Micro-SME e-Commerce Campaign and Shop Malaysia Online campaign to support and boost online businesses.  

However, Soh called on the government to expand the Covid-19 Act 2020 (Act 829) to provide relief for manufacturing and other manufacturing related services such as trading, distributorship and logistics.  

"We welcome the extension of the effective period of the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Covid-19 Act 2020 on the inability to perform contractual obligations until March 31.  

"However, the Act is currently limited to nine categories of contracts which exclude manufacturing and its related supplies.  

"In addition, as the current Act is very specific in providing temporary relief for contractual obligations faced during this pandemic period, FMM has proposed for a Disaster Management Act to be enacted to account for other disasters, such as floods and possible future outbreaks," he said.

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