By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, March 23: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors who are less than 55-years-old may withdraw money from their EPF Account 2 subject to a maximum of RM500 per month for 12 months.
Muhyiddin said employees who are interested may apply for the withdrawal starting April 2020, during a press conference broadcasted live over Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) after chairing the Economic Action Council (EAC) meeting at Putrajaya this morning.
He expressed belief that this initiative as well as an earlier announced initiative to reduce employee EPF contribution by four per cent will benefit 12 million EPF contributors.
These were among the initiatives agreed to by the EAC today to reduce the financial burden of the people and employees who are affected by the Covid-19 situation.
The federal government has also decided to extended the repayment period for National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans for another three months to September 30 from June 30.
The initiative takes effect immediately and will benefit 1.5 million borrowers.
“The federal government has agreed to provide extension for the repayment of PTPTN loans for three months to six months. “This will involve the collection of RM750 million,” Muhyiddin said.
Earlier, the federal government agreed to defer the PTPTN loan repayment until June 30.
PTPTN in a statement on March 19 disclosed the postponement was made in light of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) situation in the country, with a total collection of RM375 million.
Addtionally, Muhyiddin also announced that the various states will be allocated RM130 million to combat Covid-19 and the federal government will provide RM500 million to the Ministry of Health to purchase needed equipment including ventilators and intensive care unit (ICU) equipment to combat Covid-19.
MoH will also be given RM100 million to hire more manpower such as nurses and additional medical workers throughout the country.
The prime minister also emphasised the federal government is looking into the needs and issues of people affected by Covid-19 such as taxi driver, fisherman, petty traders, hawkers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
He revealed the Finance Ministry is formulating financial aid to assist all groups of people affected by Covid-19.
Apart from that, Muhyiddin also revealed that he will announce a more comprehensive economic stimulus package on March 30. — DayakDaily