KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 18): The special allocation of RM77 million that was approved by the federal government for Felda settlers has been disbursed to them by Jan 14.
In a statement issued here today, Felda said the special allocation included for living cost allowance and advance for replanting (BSHPH), and death benefits to the next-of-kin of 120 settlers.
"A total of 30,799 settlers received the BSHPH claims on Dec 31, 2018 and 4,644 settlers received their claims on Jan 14, 2019.
"Therefore, all BSHPH claims have been disbursed to the settlers and the payment was only made to settlers under the replanting programme,” it said.
Felda said it did not involve 851 settlers at Sungai Koyan who were not involved in the re-planting programme nor did they submit any BSHPH claim.
Felda issued the statement to clarify Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s statement on delay in distribution of arrears payment to Felda settlers.
The Finance Ministry on Dec 20 announced a special allocation of RM77 million to assist Felda settlers to settle overdue payments in the current year to address Felda’s critical cash flow problems.
In the statement, Felda said the complaints of delayed payment concerned the monthly harvest payments for the oil palm farmers, which can be described as their “salaries”.
“This harvest payment is not a part of BSHPH or even the RM77 million special allocation that was approved,” it said.
According to Felda, the payments are made to settlers twice a month, that is in the middle and end of the month, and subsequently amended to once a month at month’s end.
Felda will use its own funds to make the harvest payments to the farmers, it said.