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Govt committed to implementing Felda recovery plan, says finance ministry

It says the government has approved a guarantee of up to RM9.9 billion for the agency to issue sukuk.

Bernama
2 minute read
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Felda residents load a lorry with oil palm fruits at the Felda Pasoh 4 settlement in Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan.
Felda residents load a lorry with oil palm fruits at the Felda Pasoh 4 settlement in Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan.

The government says it is committed to ensuring that the implementation of the Felda recovery plan, including the settlement of settlers’ debts as previously announced, is completed.

The finance ministry said the government had approved a government guarantee of up to RM9.9 billion for the agency to issue sukuk.

"From this year, the government has provided an allocation of up to RM1 billion per annum to enable the repayment of Felda sukuk which, among other things, funds the write-off of settlers' debts," the ministry said in a statement.

On June 28, the government announced an agreement on a government guarantee to restructure the agency's loan via the issuance of sukuk and revolving credit as part of efforts to restore Felda's financial position.

The major part of the restructuring of Felda's loans is to reduce the principal of the debt to financial institutions by RM7.9 billion.

It would also enable Felda to cancel 80% of the RM8.3 billion settlers' debt.

At a programme in Kedah on July 8, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim also said that while there had been an agreement by the previous government to dispose of the debt, this was not implemented. 

"Budget 2021 and Budget 2022, tabled by Perikatan Nasional, had no provisions to settle and dispose of Felda settlers’ debt. I stand by this record.

"Only in Budget Madani 2023 did I start to set aside over RM990 million as an early allocation to dispose of Felda settlers’ debt, amounting to RM8.3 billion," he said.

Meanwhile, Felda's new chairman Ahmad Shabery Cheek said that Muhyiddin Yassin had announced during his tenure as prime minister that he would pay RM1 billion a year for 10 years from 2022, but this was not implemented.

"It was only promised, not implemented, as there was no formal document with Felda to help settle its debt," Ahmad Shabery said on Facebook.

Instead, it was Anwar's government that had followed through with the arrangement, he said.

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