GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government will allocate up to RM75 million under an initiative to rejuvenate the economy that has been ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pix) said the money, in the form of financial incentives, will be disbursed in three components.
The first is directed at those considered most vulnerable. They include hawkers, petty traders, taxi drivers, trishaw peddlers e-hailing drivers, the disabled and those among the low income, or B40, group.
The second group to benefit from the incentive are the blue collar workers. Chow said the money is meant to help them survive and take care of their families.
The third component is to help ensure business continuity when the country gets through the crisis.
Chow, who made the announcement at his daily social media update to the public, said the state government would give a one-off payment of RM500 each to registered petty traders, hawkers, food truck vendors, tour guides, taxi drivers and trishaw peddlers.
E-hailing drivers will be given RM300 each.
Those who live in state public housing units will be exempted from paying rent for two months while those who lease lots at the wet markets, food courts and other similar facilities will not have to pay a month’s rent.
A total of RM3 million from zakat contributions has been set aside to help families of those who have contracted Covid-19.
Chow said the frontliners from the state’s two city councils will each get RM300 in recognition of their role in helping to curb the spread of the virus.
Others who will also benefit from the RM300 payout are uniformed personnel serving under the movement control order (MCO) initiative aimed to curtail the growth rate of Covid-19 infections.
A total of RM10 million has been set aside for the purchase of equipment such as protective suits, surgical masks, hand sanitizers and thermometers.
Entrepreneurs whose businesses have incurred losses as a result of the MCO will be given interest-free loans under the Penang Business Continuity plan. A total of RM30 million has been allocated for this purpose.
The 40 state assemblymen will be provided RM30,000 each to finance relief efforts for their constituents affected by the MCO.
The state will also defer payments for trading lots used by small-scale businesses.