Budget 2021: Windfall to farmers, fishermen

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KOTA BHARU, Nov 9 — The 2021 Budget’s announcement with well-being of the people as one of its main goals, has been likened to a ‘durian runtuh’ (windfall) to the vulnerable and targeted groups, including farmers and fishermen nationwide.

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The good news is more than welcomed by farmers and fishermen who will benefit from the allocation of RM1.7 billion in the form of subsidies, assistance and incentives as well as an increase in fishermen’s cost of living allowance from RM250 to RM300, starting next year.

Kelantan Welfare, Women and Family Development committee chairman Datuk Mumtaz Md Nawi said that the allocation was able to help generate economy of the people, especially through the Prihatin Rakyat Aid (BPR) starting next year.

“The BPR is very realistic as the assistance to the vulnerable group has been increased and this will help families with many dependents. It is also a budget friendly for women and families to generate extra income,” she said when contacted by Bernama.

On Friday, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz when tabling the 2021 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat, among others, announced a strategy to protect the well-being of the vulnerable, including the BPR, which is expected to benefit 8.1 million people with an allocation of RM6.5 billion.

Among those who are eligible to receive BPR are households earning below RM2,500 with one child who will receive RM1,200 aid, while those with two children or more will get RM1,800.

Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority (KADA) chairman Datuk Kamarudin Md Nor said the allocation could attract young people to venture into agriculture, especially paddy crops to replace the elderly who could no longer afford to cultivate the crop on a large scale.

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“The allocation allows KADA to hold various initiatives to improve the living standards of 7,600 farmers including 1,600 young people in the KADA area. Apart from cultivating paddy, they can also venture into downstream projects based on paddy,” he said.

Bachok Area Fishermen Association chairman Saripudin Ishak said the increase in fishermen’s cost of living allowance would certainly ease the burden of almost 1,000 members of the association, especially during the monsoon season.

“Most of them are traditional fishermen who depend entirely on the allowance as they can’t go to sea due to the rough seas until early next year,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Negeri Sembilan, while facing difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, such announcements was eagerly awaited especially among 500 fishermen in the state.

Port Dickson’s Batu 4 Fishermen MyKomuniti (myKP) chief Yusop Jalil, expressed his gratitude and described it as a good news that will help ease their burden, especially in the weather conditions that make it difficult to make a living.

“We do need the allowance as our income depends solely from the sea,” he said adding that the government should consider providing assistance in the form of equipment such as boats and boat engines.

“This allowance it will eventually run out, but if we are given equipment, ‘InsyaAllah’ (God willing), we can try to continue earning a living as we can’t afford to buy those ourselves,” he said.

Yusof, who is also Port Dickson Fishermen’s Association chairman said that the assistance was good news and proof that the government was concerned about the plight of fishermen as it will definitely help ease their burde – BERNAMA

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