TAPAH, Oct 17 — The government today agreed to write off the debt of Felcra Bhd participants and disburse payment amounting to RM181.5 million in 2/2022 interim profit distribution for its participants, announced caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said he was informed that the Felcra Board of Directors had approved the proposal to request the government to write off the outstanding debts of the Felcra participants’ amounting to RM233.8 million for less viable projects.
“As of December 2021, a total of 323 projects involving 22,173 hectares have been identified as less viable projects. If the yields are low, how can they pay the debts,” he said at a programme with Felcra participants, Risda smallholders and the Orang Asli at Arena Merdeka here today.
However, Ismail Sabri said matters pertaining to the cancellation of the Felcra participants’ debts required to be brought to the Cabinet meeting for approval and hoped that it could be submitted to the Cabinet after the 15th General Election (GE15).
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri announced that a total of 74,949 Felcra participants nationwide will receive the 2/2022 Interim Distributable Profits amounting to RM181.5 million.
"Payments will be disbursed in stages from today," he said.
The prime minister said he was happy that Felcra Bhd managed to maintain a good performance when it recorded an increase of almost RM51 million or 38.1 per cent (in profit) compared to last year's performance.
“This proves the efficiency of the Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) government in its governance of the country’s economy,” he said.
He said Felcra had succeeded in developing abandoned and less viable land into estates owned by the participants and congratulated the agency for raising the value of rural land.
For the Risda smallholders, Ismail Sabri said assistance in the form of a one-off grant amounting to RM15,000, with RM10,000 for the purchase of equipment and RM5,000 for training purposes, had been provided for the youths.
The government has also approved RM191 million in monsoon aid of RM600 each to be distributed this November and December for 232,319 Risda smallholders.
Ismail Sabri, who used to be the Rural and Regional Development minister, said Risda was allocated RM3.019 billion under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
He said Risda was also allocated RM269 million under the 12MP for entrepreneurship programmes, expected to benefit 77,183 smallholders and expressed confidence of Risda achieving its aim to increase the income of smallholders to RM4,500 per month per family in 2025.
Ismail Sabri said that under the Commercial Replanting Plan (TSK), involving an area of 18,667.83 hectares, the 13,357 Risda participants had been enjoying good dividends.
According to him, RM73.2 million in TSK dividends have been distributed to participants at an average of RM5,480.38 per hectare per person for the period ending September this year.
Also present at the event were Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad and Human Resources minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, who is Tapah MP. — Bernama