KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Putrajaya will allocate more than RM2 billion in aid and subsidies to smallholders under various government land programmes, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced today.
RM550 million will be given out as loans to replant palm oil, with an interest rate of 2 per cent per annum without a guarantor.
RM200 million will be distributed to rubber smallholders affected by the annual monsoon. The fund will be channelled to the respective federal rubber authorities Risda and LIGS in Sabah.
The budget will also allocate RM738 million for Risda and Felcra to generate programmes meant to spur growth. Three hundred thousand smallholders under the two programmes are expected to benefit from the money.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry will see its budget increased to RM4.9 billion from RM4.5 billion this year.
Lim said among the reasons for the added amount was to assist smallholders mostly affected by the sluggish commodity market, particularly exports.
The government will also increase the allowances for poor fishermen by RM50 to RM250 monthly. This will cost RM150 million in total.