The B50 group is set for an interest-free loan moratorium for the remaining few months of the year.
Our Finance Minister, Tengku Zafrul Aziz has instructed our banking institutions to immediately work on exempting interest payments for recipients of bank loan moratoriums in the B50 segment, which is basically the bottom 50% of all Malaysians in terms of income classification.
The Edge reported that the planned exemption for the B50 group would be applicable for three months in the fourth quarter of this year, which means October - December 2021.
A crucial feature of the PEMULIH package is that the six-month automatic loan moratorium offered to all earning categories of the public (B40, M40, T20), as well as SMEs and Micro-SMEs under the PEMULIH package, would not be interest-free, however, banks would waive compound interest and penalty charges for borrowers as part of the moratorium.
This recent announcement by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) should alleviate some burden off the B50 moratorium recipients, who will not be subjected to interest payments for the remaining few months of the year.
This directive to our banking institutions came after a Cabinet meeting on September 10, where ministers had approved a proposal to table amendments to the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (COVID-19) Act 2020.
"The amendments to the bill will be tabled for approval in the Dewan Rakyat this October and is aimed to, among others, strengthen the public health system, especially to curb the spread of COVID-19 and treat COVID-19 patients, improve direct cash assistance to the rakyat, and support business continuity, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as micro SMEs," said Zafrul.
Other things that were discussed for the amendment of the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (COVID-19) entails raising the ceiling limit of the COVID-19 Fund to RM110 billion from RM65 billion previously as well as increasing the statutory limit of federal government debt from 60% to 65% of gross domestic product (GDP).