PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Najib Razak today announced six incentives for Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) settlers.
These incentives were in the form of debt disposals, incentive payments, the setting-up of a special fund and grant as well as a housing incentive, among others.
Sharing the good news with over 50,000 people, including Felda settlers who showed-up at Dataran Putrajaya here despite the heavy downpour, Najib announced a special incentive of RM5,000 to 94,956 fully eligible families of Felda settlers.
“With a total allocation of RM474.78 million, the payment will commence at the end of August, 2017,” he said to the applause of those attending the national level Felda Settlers Day 2017 celebration here.
In line with efforts towards creating stronger corporate governance and integrity, Najib, who is also Finance Minister, announced that part of their Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV) equity loan would be disposed off.
“Some 77,934 settlers, who are still paying for the FGV equity loans, will have the balance of their loans disposed off at a rate of ringgit to ringgit,” he said.
Najib said 1,626 settlers, who had paid their loans, would receive a cash reward of RM1,820.
“This involves a total allocation of RM128.10 million. For settlers who have never made any FGV equity loan payment, they will not receive this incentive,” he said.
He also announced the incentive to dispose off replanting debts amounting to RM5,000 for every settler who chose to replant through Felda involving a total allocation of RM519 million.
Additionally, a special replanting overdraft debt disposal fund was also set-up involving an allocation of RM300 million for a period of five years commencing 2017 until 2021 to dispose of the operating cost debts exceeding RM40,000.
“This means, if the debt for replanting operating costs is RM60,000, a total of RM20,000 will be disposed off using this special fund, based on an assessment on the application sent and approved by a committee at the Felda level,” he said.
Najib also announced the establishment of a special replanting grant, approved for Felda by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), with the rate for the replanting programme fixed at RM7,500 per hectare beginning this year up to 2020.
“This involves an area of 24,280.31 hectares with an allocation of RM166.6 million over the four-year period,” he said.
For Felda settlers with families, Najib also announced the approval to build more than one house on a site.
To date he said there were 4,711 settlers owning two houses on a site and this could be further implemented on another 70,506 suitable sites.
“To overcome housing problems faced by the new generation, Felda and the state government will work together to approve the construction of more housing units on one site. The settlers will have to bear the building costs,” he said.
Najib stressed that the incentives were granted to 94,956 eligible settlers as their land and products were managed by Felda.
He said, those who cooperated with Felda, had loyally repaid the money which had been loaned to them for replanting purposes or for house renovations.
He said that they also made contribution to various funds managed by Felda such as the replanting scheme and village development funds.
Meanwhile Najib said for the first time, that it was with noble intentions that he was giving a chance to 17,679 settlers who had not sold their products to Felda and who had sued Felda, to return to the fold.
“However we are giving them a six-month period starting from next month to cooperate with Felda and to fulfil the requirements set,” he said.
Najib said the settlers, who returned to cooperate, would be eligible for the six incentives beginning February 2018.