The maximum rate for Sumbangan Tunai Rahmah (STR) will be raised to RM3,700 next year from the previous RM3,100, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, said the minimum rate STR for youths will also be increased from RM350 to RM500.
He said the STR allocation, which benefits 9 million recipients or 60 per cent of the country's adult population, has been increased by RM2 billion or 25 per cent from RM8 billion to RM10 billion.
"The first payment of STR for households, which is normally a maximum of RM300, will be increased to RM500 next year. STR will be distributed before Ramadan, Insya Allah.
"Next year, STR will also take a different approach, whereby new applications can be made as early as November this year and will be open throughout the year, instead of once a year as before. The first disbursement of up to RM500 will be made in February next year," he said when tabling the Malaysia MADANI Budget 2024 in Dewan Rakyat today.
Anwar said the funds from STR are part of the RM58.1 billion allocated for various forms of government grants to the people, including subsidies, incentives and assistance.
"Restructuring subsidies will enable the government to improve the distribution of cash to the people through STR," he said.
The Prime Minister said the government has also decided to expand the Sumbangan Asas Rahmah (SARA) from 200,000 to 700,000 STR recipients and extend the disbursement period from RM100 per month to 12 months, compared to six months previously.
According to Anwar, the government has also allocated RM200 million to continue the implementation of Payung Rahmah, including the implementation of Rahmah Sales and Pasar Rahmah, which provide incentives to 1.2 million wholesale market, pasar malam and pasar tani operators.
"RM225 million ringgit will also be allocated to fund the cost of distributing basic commodities such as petrol, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), flour, rice and cooking oil in rural areas under the Community Drumming Programme.
"This programme will be extended to new areas, including Abai, Sandakan, Sabah and Engkerebai, Mukah zones in Sarawak," he said.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency