Govt taking immediate action to address sugar supply for the long term - Armizan

21 Dec 2023 06:18pm
Armizan - FILE PIX
Armizan - FILE PIX

KOTA KINABALU - The government is conducting assessments and taking immediate action to prevent a larger disruption of refined white sugar supplies in the local market leading into next year, said Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Mohd Armizan Mohd Ali.

He said that the assessments and actions are based on reasonable pricing factors and ensuring a stable sugar supply in the market and thus,the government is currently exploring solutions to address the sugar supply issue for the long term.

"It is undeniable that the disruption of refined white sugar supplies priced at RM2.85 per kilogramme is due to the increase in the price of raw sugar in the global market. The government only controls the price of refined white sugar at that price without providing subsidies to manufacturers.

"Since July, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDN) has taken the approach of relaxing import permit conditions by allowing anyone to import sugar," he said during a press conference after the Rahmah Sales programme here today.

Armizan said that since then, 43 companies have been granted import quota approval permits totalling 557,080 metric tonnes, aimed at enabling importers to seek sources of raw sugar at low rates.

However, until December 12, he said only five percent of the sugar supply has been successfully imported into the country, but it is for personal use even though the relaxation has been given.

"KPDN is still open to conditional import permit relaxation, if any party can import and sell refined sugar at the price of RM2.85 9 (a kilo), please apply, and we will grant approval immediately," he said.

Meanwhile, Armizan said that starting next year, the Rahmah Market will include elements of selling wet goods in the Rahmah Sales programme in collaboration with traders from public markets and wet markets.

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He said based on a study conducted on the impact of Rahmah Sales, almost 80 percent of the response from the people is positive, and they want the programme to continue, along with several suggestions for improving the programme, such as announcing the sales schedule earlier.

"We will continue to improve the implementation of the Rahmah Sales programme by taking into account the response from the people and traders," he said.

In the meantime, Armizan said that KPDN is always collaborating with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to address any price increases involving face masks, sanitisers, and COVID-19 test kits when an increase in cases occurs.

Epidemiological Week (ME) 50, from December 10 to 16, recorded 20,696 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 62.2 percent compared to 12,757 cases in ME 49. - BERNAMA

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