Restaurant Operators Allowed To Buy Imported Rice At Wholesale Prices
Restaurant operators’ associations have been asked to apply to the agriculture and food security ministry for the licences to buy rice at wholesale prices.PETALING JAYA: Restaurant operators will be given licences allowing them to buy imported white rice at the wholesale price of RM3.20 per kg from Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas).
The decision was made by agriculture and food security minister Mohamad Sabu as a short-term measure to overcome the shortage of local white rice.
He said purchases of imported rice have been decreasing due to rising prices.
Mohamad’s press secretary Adeysham Nor said that restaurant operators’ associations should apply to the ministry for the licences to do this.
Previously, he said the price of imported rice had not differed greatly from that of local rice.
However, operators started using local rice after Bernas was forced to adjust the price of imported rice to RM3,200 per tonne (RM3.20 per kg) from RM2,350 per tonne due to prevailing world prices.
Local rice is being sold at a controlled price of RM2.60 per kg.
“On Sept 15, the ministry organised an engagement session with various associations, including restaurant operators.
“Among the issues discussed were the best ways to help every association member get imported goods at wholesale prices.
“During the session, the ministry said it would grant wholesale licences to the operators involved. We are waiting for the associations to apply for the licences, but so far they have not,” he said, according to Berita Harian.
Adeysham also said the ministry had been directed to engage the finance ministry and study the usage of imported rice by government tender suppliers to military camps and schools.
“The minister has also directed ministry officers to find out how much it will cost the government if it wishes to subsidise imported rice for this purpose,” he said. - FMT
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