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PM Urges Banks To Continue To Help Financially-Distressed Borrowers

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has urged banks to continue to help borrowers who face financial difficulties, address their repayment issues as well as postpone legal action on errant borrowers.

He said borrowers who need help should contact their respective banks to discuss the appropriate restructure or rescheduling of debt repayments.

He said the government welcomed efforts by the banking sector to continue supporting and helping borrowers by restructuring their debts. The government, he added, has taken note of efforts by the banking sector in not taking the “easy way out” by blacklisting the defaulters or commencing bankruptcy proceedings.

“Even though the insolvency rate has reduced by 50 per cent after economic sectors reopened in stages since October, Malaysia’s economy will take time to fully recover.

The prime minister said to support the lower-income group, as per an announcement on Oct 13, the banking industry, together with the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) is actively implementing the Financial Management and Resilience Programme (URUS) for the lower-income group affected by the pandemic.

Under URUS, borrowers would be entitled to, among others, interest exemption for three months; loan moratorium or reduced loan repayment up to two years; as well as financial management support to enable greater financial resilience.

Borrowers, he said, would also be given comprehensive help including personalised financial planning to ensure more meaningful long-term aid.

He said the banking sector has also implemented URUS in a transparent and far manner to help the lower-income group with a household income of up to RM5,880, and those who have lost jobs or income up to 50 per cent due to the pandemic.

Those who qualify for the facilities, he said, can contact the respective banks before Jan 31, 2022.

Ismail Sabri said apart from URUS, borrowers can also get other help from banks in line with their needs and financial capabilities.

“As for micro-entrepreneurs, RM1.8 billion have been allocated via Tekun Nasional, Bank Simpanan Nasional and Agrobank, which offers a zero per cent funding for at least six months for loans of up to RM75,000; and express moratorium between six and 12 months, subject to terms and conditions.”

The prime minister said the government is aware that many people, especially those in the B40 category, still need support. As such, under the 2022 Budget, the government will ensure that efforts to safeguard public welfare are comprehensive and encompasses various initiatives.

This, he said, included a RM8.2 billion allocation for the Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia programme; RM2.4 billion for aid under the Welfare Department, RM450 million in schooling aid, RM400 million for supplementary food programmes including daily milk supply for impoverished children; RM450 million for the PerantiSiswa Keluarga Malaysia programme; and RM4.8 billion for the JaminKerja and MySTEP programmes to provide 600,000 job opportunities.

Ismail Sabri added that under the 2022 Budget, social coverage initiatives include Tenang vouchers which has seen the quantum raised to RM75; the continuation of the Job Seekers Allowance programme, and raising the insured wage ceiling from RM4,000 to RM5,000 to enable more than nine million workers under Socso.

“Looking ahead, the government has also reactivated the Social Protection Council (MySPC), which is actively formulating national social protection policies which are comprehensive for the long-term.” – NST ONLINE

BacalahMalaysia Team

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