Govt To Reintroduce Ceiling Price For Bottled Cooking Oil
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(Image: The Star/Izzrafiq Alias)

The government has said that it will reintroduce a ceiling price for bottled palm cooking oil, following manufacturers’ failure to lower their retail prices despite a decline in crude palm oil prices.

According to the chairman of the Jihad Tangani Inflasi task force, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, this step was taken as existing efforts to reduce the price of bottled palm oil has not yielded any results. “It’s been two weeks since the committee gave a period to see the price of bottled palm oil lowered, it seems that the existing mechanism is not effective, the steps to negotiate and ask for a price reduction do not seem to be effective, and the government needs to make effective decisions to protect the interests of the public,” he said.

Following this decision to gazette the maximum retail price of bottled cooking oil, Tan Sri Annuar said that the process may take approximately a week, with specific details to be provided soon by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP).

Meanwhile, the deputy minister of KPDNHEP, Datuk Rosol Wahid stressed that the gazetting of the maximum retail price for cooking oil will consider both the interests of the industry and the welfare of the consumers.

(Image: Reuters/Hasnoor Hussain)

“We are doing this to protect the interests of both parties (industry and consumers), we don’t want to pressure the traders, as they may sulk and that will spell trouble. At the same time, we don’t want the consumers to be victimised. We have to put a balance, traders need to run their business wisely and the consumers must also be smart,” said the minister.

The government had previously decided to remove the subsidies for bottled cooking oil as of 1 July 2022, but this consequently saw the price of the commodity skyrocket soon after. Efforts were then made by the Jihad Tangani Inflasi task force to communicate with relevant industry players, with manufacturers hinting that they will gradually reduce their price by 5% to 10% within two weeks. However, this appeared to have come to nothing thus far.

Meanwhile, cooking oil in polybag packages (1kg) is still being subsidised, although the government has also decided to ban its export recently in a bid to combat the smuggling of the item.

(Sources: Malay Mail, The Edge Markets)

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