Friday, January 9, 2009
FRIDAY-09 JANUARY 2009-RM50 MILLION FUND FOR SMALLHOLDERS
RM50 MILLION FUND FOR SMALLHOLDERS
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman yesterday announced an allocation of RM5O million as a special fund to assist oil palm smallholders who are affected by the current slump in the palm oil industry.
Musa told reporters after chairing the first State Cabinet meeting this year that the allocation would be disbursed in the form of a special incentive and soft loans.
The assistance is available to smailholders with titled land of 15 acres and below, he said, adding that according to Malaysian Palm Oil Board records, a total of 11,018 smallholders in Sabah will be eligible for the assistance.
“It is hoped that the special fund would ease the smallholders’ operational costs such as fertilizer and transportation,” he said.
According to Musa, a special registration unit for the smallholders will be at the State Agriculture Department with immediate effect to assist them in the application process.
After registration, the applicants would be screened and vetted and the allocation will be given according to the smallholders’ requirements, he said.
Musa also disclosed that the Cabinet yesterday approved the proposed setting up of Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) to act as the monitoring body for the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC).
“The Cabinet also passed the proposal that the SEDIA Bill be tabled in a special State Assembly sitting on January 15,” he said, adding that the functions of SEDIA would be revealed then.
State Assemblymen will have the opportunity on January 15 to debate the SEDIA Bill, he said.