NFCorp’s new buyer an expert in the industry, says minister

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub greets people after the ministry’s monthly gathering in Putrajaya yesterday. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: The prospective buyer of National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFCorp) has expertise in the ruminant industry, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub says.

He said he was given assurance that the NFCorp issue would end soon as the company is ready to make full repayment of its outstanding loan to the finance ministry.

He also said his ministry is ready to cooperate with the local company to help it increase its self-sufficiency level in the production of local meat.

“We just want them to comply with all the conditions set and not affect the interests of the ministry. They will be given the full space to build the ruminant industry in the future,” he told a press conference after the ministry’s monthly gathering here yesterday.

NFCorp chairman Mohamad Salleh Ismail recently said the company has had a “new buyer” since Oct 25 last year who is ready to fully repay its outstanding loan within three months from the government’s approval for restructuring.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had said that NFCorp still owes the government about RM253 million including interest and late interest charges as of April 30.

Meanwhile, Salahuddin said the process to grant approved permits (APs) and import permits (IPs) would be improved to ensure that the practice of rent-seeking or taking rent by those not involved in the agriculture industry is stopped.

“We want to eliminate the rent-seekers. We realise that there are people with no factories and who are not involved in the industry but were awarded APs and IPs… this is what we do not want,” he said.

Salahuddin said the ministry would also get views and recommendations from the National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre to improve the process of giving contracts, APs and IPs so that only those who are eligible will be awarded.