The permission for restaurant associations, food entrepreneurs and hawkers to purchase imported white rice (BPI) at the wholesale price of RM160 for every 50 kilogrammes (kg) is to help them control operating costs and ensure the price of rice is not raised.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (KPKM) said this was also to stabilise the supply of local white rice (BPT) by reducing purchases from this group for business use.
"In this matter, the ministry has taken the step to balance the need for rice for business purposes and household use during the period of high demand for BPT supply at this time.
"This agreement was achieved through an engagement session between the ministry and restaurant associations, food operators and hawkers on Sept 15,” the ministry said in a statement.
This is following a statement by Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad (Mydin) managing director Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin regarding the decision which he feared could create a monopoly and his proposal to increase the ceiling price for BPT to RM34 per 10kg as reported by a news portal yesterday.
Regarding the proposal to increase the price of BPT, the ministry said that the price of BPT at the retail level is still controlled at RM2.60 per kilogramme as per the Rice Act (Grade and Price Control) Order (Amendment No. 4) 2008 and Control of Paddy and Rice Act 1994 (Act 522).
The ministry had, on Sept 24, decided to give wholesale licences to restaurant owners so that they can purchase BPI at a wholesale price of RM3.20 per kilogramme from Bernas and the various associations of restaurant owners will need to apply to the ministry to obtain the wholesale licence.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency