Budget 2021: EPF Account 1 withdrawal, targeted moratorium among Umno’s proposals

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

ALLOWING Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors to withdraw savings from Account 1 and providing a targeted loan moratorium extension are among recommendations that Umno has submitted to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz for the 2021 budget.

Four Umno representatives which were secretary general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, supreme council members Tan Sri Noh Omar and Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, and Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki handed in the proposals at the Finance Ministry yesterday.

Ahmad said the withdrawal from EPF Account 1 is most favoured among the people, especially those who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“However, the (withdrawal) amount could be considered by the ministry and the EPF, it does not have to be as high as RM10,000, perhaps lesser,” he told reporters after the meeting.

On the loan repayment moratorium, he was of the view that it is more appropriate to be given on a targeted basis rather than automatically, as there are three income groups in the country, namely the high top 20%, middle 40% and bottom 40% income earners.

During the one-and-a-half-hour meeting, Ahmad said the issue of unemployment and initiatives to create new employment opportunities were also discussed and these should be given priority in the 2021 budget.

Currently 740,000 people are unemployed in the country and the unemployment rate has risen from about 3%to 5.4% due to Covid-19, Ahmad said.

Apart from that, Umno also emphasised that people-friendly development programmes throughout the country, especially rural development, should be given priority in the 2021 budget.

Meanwhile, Asyraf Wajdi in his Facebook page listed out 10 main proposals, among them were fee waiver for public university students and special payment of at least RM500 to parents to lessen their burden ahead of the 2021 school session.

It was also proposed that the National Higher Education Fund Corporation loan payment deferment be extended to December 2021 and the terms, conditions, processing of business loans under Tekun Nasional, Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, SME Corp or other related agencies, to be less restrictive.

Apart from Umno, Tengku Zafrul was also scheduled to meet with representatives of Gabungan Parti Sarawak, PAS and Pakatan Harapan yesterday.