No increase in price of local white rice

28 Jun 2023 06:01pm
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
KAJANG - The Agriculture and Food Security Ministry today denied that there has been an increase in the price of local white rice, as claimed by certain quarters.

Its deputy minister Chan Foong Hin said the maximum price of local white rice at the consumer level was still controlled at a rate of RM2.60 per kilogramme (kg), as stipulated in the provisions of the Control of Padi and Rice Act 1994 (Act 522).

"We have also taken early preventive measures by setting the maximum price for the sale of local white rice at RM2,250 per metric tonne at the factory level and RM2,540 per metric tonne at the wholesale level for the past two weeks.

"This is to ensure that factories do not compete for raw materials by offering higher prices so that the chain below (wholesalers, retailers and consumers) is not affected. It also ensures that there is a stable supply with reasonable prices and this intervention measure is temporary,” he said.

He said this to reporters after conducting checks on the prices and supply of rice under Operasi Beras Putih (OP BP) in factories and supermarkets around Kajang today.

Previously, there were media reports claiming that the price of super special local and imported white rice had increased by 10 to 15 per cent.

Chan, meanwhile, said that the price of imported white rice is not controlled by the government, but instead is determined by the market.

"Our monitoring found that the current market price of imported white rice at the retail level for a 10-kg pack is between RM28 and RM32, but we can see today that the price offered is lower than the price on the packaging.

"Therefore, I hope that no party will play up this issue and turn it into a polemic in the country,” he said.
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Chan added that efforts to deal with lower local rice production due to weather factors are being made through imports, and the government will do its best to ensure there is competition in the market so that the price of imported rice does not go up to the point of burdening consumers.

"Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) has also taken the initiative to make an additional 30 per cent purchase of imported white rice to meet wholesaler demand that has increased over the past few months,” he said.

In the meantime, Padi and Rice Regulatory Division director-general Datuk Azman Mahmood said any party found to have arbitrarily increased the price of local rice could be subject to legal action- BERNAMA