Budget 2020 has just been revealed and here are some of the "goodies" announced.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, in announcing the RM297.020 billion budget, said the government will provide loans of up to RM20 million under Tekun Nasional, which is expected to benefit 1,300 Indian entrepreneurs, with an interest of 4% per annum.

The government will also allocate RM735 million for the maintenance and upgrade of existing schools, up from last budget's RM652 million.

Of the amount, RM50 million will go to Tamil schools.

"The government is also concerned about the issues and challenges faced by the Indian community.

"Therefore, the government will allocate a RM100 million grant for the Malaysian Indian Transformation Unit (MITRA), where 80% of the allocation will be devoted to programmes that will be carried out, and not for the said organisation.

"This is to improve the socio economic standing, health, education, and women empowernment and the development of the skills of the Indian community," Lim said.

He also proposed that the minimum wage to be increased to RM1,200 in main cities starting next year.

According to Lim, the government will also study amendments to Employment Act 1995, to increase maternity leave from 60 days to 90 days from 2021, and to protect workers from sexual harassment and discrimination.

A programme called #MalaysiaKerja ([email protected]) with a RM6.5 billion allocation will also be introduced to encourage the hiring of locals.

It will apply to graduates who start working after 12 months of being unemployed, women who rejoin the workforce and locals who replace foreigners.

Under this scheme, qualified individuals will be paid RM500 a month for two years, on top of their salaries. Employers who participate will be given an incentive of RM300 a month.

Lim said that the government hopes to create 350,000 jobs for locals in five years, and stop the dependence on foreign workers.

Putrajaya will also allocate RM10 million for the development of female athletes.

The RM297.020 billion budget, excludes RM2 billion contingency fund. Of the amount, RM241.02 billion is for operational expenditure and RM56 billion for development.

Photo source: Finance Ministry Facebook