KPDN Deputy Minister: Govt To Hold Rahmah Rice Sales
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(Image: Bernama)

The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) has said that it will launch Rahmah rice sales in a bid to help the public cope with the current rice supply predicament. This comes following a recent hike in the price of imported rice, as well as an increased demand for local rice.

Deputy minister Fuziah Salleh said that through this initiative, consumers will be able to obtain rice at a subsidised price. “Rice is a controlled item which KPDN has no authority to control its price. But today, we kept hearing the people’s grouses, so KPDN seeks ways to resolve the issue of imported rice price increase and why local rice supply has run out,” she said, adding that the government has allocated a budget of RM150 million to run this initiative.

For context, Malaysia has been facing a rice supply shortage following India’s decision to stop exporting non-basmati white rice in an effort to tame surging domestic food prices and to ensure adequate domestic availability at reasonable prices. Following the ban, the price of imported rice in Malaysia rose by 36%, which subsequently led to an increased demand for local white rice (whose price remains unchanged at RM2.60 per kg).

(Image: The Straits Times)

Malaysia is set to engage with the Indian government to discuss the export curb soon, but Bernas – as Malaysia’s state-run rice importer – is also exploring alternative suppliers like Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia as part of its strategy to ease the impact of the ban.

On another note, Fuziah also acknowledged Malaysia’s dependence on various other imported raw materials – such as sugar and onion – which means that Malaysia will be impacted if the source countries decide to stop exporting something. In turn, this will have a spillover effect on the prices of the imported items.

“However, we will try our best to manage. For example, we impose ceiling price so that we can control sugar price. Later, we control and subsidise, in the case of eggs; grade A, B, C, and D. Besides, we also hold Rahmah sales where we give discounts of between 10% to 30%,” she explained.

(Source: The Edge Malaysia)

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