Wednesday, November 19, 2008
THURSDAY-20 NOVEMBER 2008-ST15 RICE PRICE STANDARDISED SINCE JUNE: MINISTRY
ST15 RICE PRICE STANDARDISED SINCE JUNE: MINISTRY
The Government has standardised the price of grade ST1 5 rice between West Malaysia and Sabah at RM1. 80 per kilogramme since June 1 and will have purchased 56,447 metric tonnes of ST15 rice from October until the end of the year to ease the rice shortage in the State.
This was revealed by the Minister of Agriculture and Agrobased Industries in reply to a question in the Dewan Rakyat from Tawau Member of Parliament Datuk Chua Soon Bui recently.
Chua had wanted to know the Government’s plan to counter the shortage of rice in Sabah and why open market competition for purchase of rice was not implemented to reduce the price of rice.
The written statement by the Ministry also stated that the privatisation of Bernas, signed between Bernas and the Government on Jan 12 1996, gave Bernas monopoly rights as the sole importer of rice in the country, and there is no plan to permit any other party to import rice into Sabah.
It also stated Bernas was tasked with certain obligations under Article 4 of the Bernas Privatization Memorandum with the Government, including managing and maintaining the stockpile of rice in the country at 92,000 metric tonnes at all times and acting as the final buyer, to ensure that rice would always be available at a reasonable price.