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Johari reiterates call for the removal of local white rice price cap [NSTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: Titiwangsa member of Parliament Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani today reiterated his call for the government to remove the price cap for local white rice.

At the moment, the price cap is set at RM2.60 per kg, which has been fixed since 2008.

“There is one important factor that we need to address which is the shortage of the local rice production.

“Our self-sufficiency right now is between 61 and 62 per cent.

“We want to encourage more farmers to cultivate padi, subsequently to boost local rice production

“However, when we put a cap price at RM26 per 10kg, it will become inbalance.

“On one hand, the farmers want the padi price to increase, but on the other hand we cannot sell for more than RM26 (per 10kg) when the imported rice is priced at more than that.

“How are we going to balance it and right now we are short of 37 per cent (to be self-sufficient),” he said during the policy stage winding up session by Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.

Mohamad in his reply said the matter must be discussed among ministries; namely the Economy Ministry and the Finance Ministry among others.

“The matter must be discussed so that should there be any increase and others, it can be enjoyed by various parties; win-win for all.

“Titiwangsa (Johari) has suggested many times, but we will look into it from time to time.

“Our prime minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) is not that easy when it comes to increasing the prices. He will discuss it thoroughly.

“He (Anwar) remains adamant with his view and his pro-people attitude.”

Johari then replied, saying that he wanted to ensure the price increase was enough for all from the farmers to rice mills, retailers, distributors and consumers.

“We can control their profit, but not until it is not profitable at all.

“If the padi price is increasing but the selling price of the local rice remains the same, I am afraid that more factories will shut down.

“This thing cannot wait for long, since the price has been the same since 2008 when zakat fitrah has also increased (over the years).”

Mohamad then responded; “We are willing to discuss this thoroughly. If every single party (from farmers to consumers) is happy with it, it shows that it is fair for all.

“If only one party is happy, while the other party is unhappy; then it is not fair.”

Source : NST

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