PONTIAN: The Finance Ministry has not received any proposal or application for the withdrawal of Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) savings by contributors at the 12 2023 Budget Dialogue Sessions held since Jan 26.
Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said this showed that EPF withdrawals were undertaken only during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said at the 2023 Budget Dialogue Sessions, eight focus groups and four states as well as ministries, agencies, departments, individuals, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and academics proposed and requested additional allocations.
"We analysed many views and suggestions from individuals and NGOs. None of them requested EPF (savings withdrawal) except for one organisation that stated its intention the move to a newspaper.
"Unlike during Covid-19, they could not do business and work, and had severe financial problems, so the government at that time made a decision to allow EPF (savings) withdrawals," he said after opening the Sports Carnival at SK Kayu Ara Pasong here today.
He added that EPF contributions, especially those involving the Bumiputera community, were too little for their old age financial support.
He said 44 per cent of the 7.8 million EPF contributors earn RM2,000 or less per month.
"Eighty-one per cent of contributors earn RM5,000 a month. In addition, there are 5.4 million inactive contributors, and 1.2 million members contribute only once a year.
"The government does not intentionally want to prevent EPF withdrawals, but the contributions involving the Bumiputera community, are too little," he said.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the government did not allow EPF withdrawals ahead of the 2023 Budget, which would be tabled on Feb 24.