KUALA LUMPUR: The individual named "Deepak" is not linked to Budget 2023, says Chan Foong Hin.
"I hope that we will clear the air in the House once and for all without the matter being brought up again.
"The so-called individual named Deepak has nothing to do with the items under this Budget," the Agriculture and Food Security Deputy Minister said when wrapping up his ministerial replies on Budget 2023 at the committee stage in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (March 15).
He said this when answering a question raised by Jamaludin Yahya (PN-Pasir Salak) if the government had provided any allocation for the importation of chicken eggs from India.
"There was none.
"This was explained by the ministry in a recent media statement.
"This included an explanation by the minister himself in this House that any business risk is to be borne by the importer themselves.
"But we did issue an import permit or AP to the company with no involvement of any public funds," Chan said.
On Dec 6, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu announced the approval to import eggs from external sources as a temporary measure to overcome the shortage of eggs.
The temporary special approval until June 30, 2023 was given to J&E Advance Tech Sdn Bhd and an egg exporting company in India that has the supply capacity and also supplied eggs to Qatar during the 2022 World Cup.
In a statement on Monday, (March 13), the Agricultural and Food Security Ministry said any expenditure and risk to import eggs were fully borne by the importing company without public funds.
Earlier, during debates, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) revealed that he received a call from an individual who identified himself as "Deepak" claiming to represent J&E Advance Tech.
The individual requested Dr Wee to issue a statement over the imported egg issue which had previously been raised in Dewan Rakyat.
Meanwhile, Chan said that the RM1.28bil government subsidy for eggs till June 30 this year was not included under Budget 2023.
He said that subsidy allocation would either come from additional funds under the budget or through internal funds.
He said that his ministry has requested the subsidy allocation which will be decided by the Ministry of Finance.