Deputy minister: Detailed study to be conducted before setting local, imported rice controls

Deputy Minister II Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi said whatever the decision to be made on the issue, should require careful study because it is a strategic and critical industry, and it is also the staple food of Malaysians. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
Deputy Minister II Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi said whatever the decision to be made on the issue, should require careful study because it is a strategic and critical industry, and it is also the staple food of Malaysians. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 ― The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries will conduct a detailed market study before submitting the proposed local rice ceiling prices and setting price controls on imported rice.

Its Deputy Minister II Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi said whatever the decision to be made on the issue, should require careful study because it is a strategic and critical industry, and it is also the staple food of Malaysians.

“This is to ensure that the impact of price changes does not burden consumers and the people as a whole,” he said at a question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat here today.

Elaborating further, Che Abdullah said the government had introduced a ceiling price for local rice starting in 2008 to ensure that the people and consumers obtained their supply of rice at a reasonable and controlled price despite the increase in rice prices in the international market.

Currently, he said local white rice, with a crushed content of five per cent, is controlled at RM2.60 per kilogramme and to cover the 30 per cent shortage of domestic rice consumption, white rice is imported at an average price of around RM2.80 to RM3 per kilogramme.

“Taking into account some policy changes such as the increase in the ceiling price of rice which has been standardised from RM850 per tonne to RM1,200 per tonne in 2014, the ministry is of the view that a study on the ceiling price of local rice should be implemented.

“This is to give justice to others throughout the industry chain such as manufacturers and wholesalers as the business profit margin is shrinking as a result of the set retail ceiling price,” he said. ― Bernama

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