KUALA LUMPUR: Recovery efforts should be calibrated to those who need it most, according to MCA.
Presenting its “Marshall Plan” to work towards an inclusive economy based on the principles of shared prosperity to the Finance Ministry, MCA leaders met with Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz on Friday (July 23).
MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon, MCA deputy secretary-general Dr Pamela Yong and party spokesperson Chan Quin Er attended a meeting with the Finance Minister on the party's proposal to enhance the National Recovery Plan (NRP).
The "Marshall Plan" is a national recovery effort looking at short, medium and long-term solutions to deal with the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic that has incapacitated many economic sectors and burdened the public financially.
In a statement on Friday, MCA said that the proposal revolves around the theme of "bridging gaps and divides" to ensure no Malaysians are left behind.
The party also advances the need of a Malaysian "Marshall Plan" approach, which emphasises allocation on a per capita basis.
“Any plan for national recovery should take into account states which have the highest percentage of hardcore poor and how these states economies will bounce back in the short, medium, and long-term,” it read.
The statement said short-term economic relief should be focused on resolving pressing issues like reviewing Penjana Kerjaya scheme for the service sector, changing the Wage Subsidy Programme, establishing clear and consistent standard operating procedures (SOPs), having specific recovery plans for each ministry, targeted lockdowns and providing micro loans and ensure the survival of small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs).
“For the welfare of those affected we propose temporary, recurring income support via the Employment Insurance System (EIS) for the unemployed, RM6,000 additional income allowance for single parents who lost their jobs, shelter for the distressed and homeless and allowances for school bus operators to repair their vehicles before schools reopen among others.
“The medium-term plan for economic recovery would entail attracting foreign investments and revitalising the tourism sector, in order to boost the national gross domestic product (GDP).
“In the long run, there is a need for Malaysia to implement development aid for states by allocating funding according to the respective state's economy as well as proportionate to their population of hardcore poor."
It also proposed an RM3bil special allocation for Covid-19 recovery assistance for every peninsula state and RM5bil each for Sabah and Sarawak.
Additionally, the party proposed that the government stipulate a tax system that is pro-business and pro-consumer by lowering the current personal income tax and SME tax by 1%, for establishments with paid-up capital of less than RM5mil.
“The long-term economic recovery plan requires retail stores similar to the 1Malaysia retail stores to ensure fair price of daily necessities nationwide, travel bubbles with neighbouring countries and incentives for hiring Malaysian workers among others,” it added.
MCA noted its positive meeting with the Finance Minister, also highlighting the need for funding for gadgets for teachers and students alike who now had to study online.
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