Finance ministry asks banks to work on interest payment exemption for loan moratorium beneficiaries
KUALA LUMPUR (September 14): The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has called on banking institutions to immediately work on exemption from interest payments for beneficiaries of the moratorium on bank lending.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said in a statement today that this would involve the beneficiaries of the moratorium among the bottom 50% of all Malaysians, in terms of income classification, for a period of three months in the fourth quarter of 2021 (4Q21).
Following a Cabinet meeting on September 10, Tengku Zafrul said cabinet ministers approved a proposal to table amendments to the temporary government funding measures (Covid-19), which involve raising the cap from the Covid-19 Fund to RM 110 billion from RM 65 billion previously as well as increasing the statutory debt limit of the federal government from 60% to 65% of gross domestic product (GDP).
“The amendments to the bill will be tabled for approval by Dewan Rakyat in October and aim, among other things, to strengthen the public health system, in particular to curb the spread of Covid-19 and treat Covid-19 patients, improve direct cash flow. assistance to rakyat and supporting business continuity, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as micro-SMEs, ”he said.
In addition to this, Tengku Zafrul pointed out that under the upcoming 2022 budget, the Ministry of Finance will strive to accelerate economic recovery through the formulation of pro-business and investment-friendly policies, as well as further strengthen national resilience.
Today’s MoF statement was released following the agreement reached between the government and Pakatan Harapan (PH) through the signing yesterday of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on political transformation and stability.
Tengku Zafrul said the ministry welcomes such understanding, as political stability will contribute to a more stable environment conducive to the development of the country’s investment, capital market and economy.
“With the relaxation of movement restrictions for people who have been fully vaccinated, as well as the opening up of many other economic sectors, including travel bubble tourism, this understanding will have a positive impact on the economic growth of the region. Malaysia in 4Q21 and through 2022.
“The Ministry of Finance is convinced that the new political agreement signed yesterday will continue to support the foundations of economic recovery and the projected GDP growth of 3% to 4% for 2021,” he added.
While details of the MoU are scarce, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement yesterday that the historic collaboration introduced by the government would ensure exceptional governance in the fight against Covid-19 and economic recovery.
The MoU highlights six key areas, namely:
- Strengthening of the Covid-19 recovery plan;
- Administrative transformation;
- parliamentary reforms;
- Independence of justice;
- The 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63); and
- The constitution of a steering committee.
Separately, PH’s communications director Fahmi Fadzil said in a tweet yesterday that the MoU also underscored an agreement between the parties that Parliament would not be dissolved until July 31, 2022.