KOTA KINABALU, May 9 – The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has approved withdrawals from Account 2 totalling RM1.66 billion by 3.5 million contributors under the i-Lestari initiative launched last month, said Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.
The money would be credited into their bank accounts via electronic transfer between May 4 and 18, he said in a statement here today.
“The EPF i-Lestari initiative, which involves an allocation of RM40 billion, will inject liquidity of RM3.3 billion per month on average into the local economy.
“This aggregate liquidity is needed not only to help the people get disposal income but also to create the market liquidity required by the retail sector, allow money to change hands and create a multiplier effect on the country’s economy,” he added.
Abdul Rahim said it was common knowledge that the retail sector had been badly hit by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This unprecedented health emergency had shrunk cash flow in the market after many people lost their sources of income. Billions of ‘tourism dollar’ from foreign tourists have also been lost because of the collapse of the tourism service sector,” he said.
He said it would take time to revive the economy as the coronavirus had impacted all sectors throughout the world.
The i-Lestari withdrawal facility is meant to ease the financial burden of EPF members and help them meet their basic monthly financial needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.