Bernas, special committee to discuss monopoly issue

Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR: The agriculture and agro-based industry ministry and a special committee chaired by Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali will hold a series of discussions with Syarikat Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas) to study its monopoly over the country’s rice supply, including its sole right to import rice until 2021.

Minister Salahuddin Ayub said the committee would also discuss a new model to be implemented after the end of the concession agreement with Bernas.

“The model will be tabled and discussed at the Cabinet and then explained to the people and all interested parties,” he said in a Bernama radio programme here today.

Salahuddin was previously reported to have said that ending Bernas’ monopoly on the rice supply in the country would lead to a more open market and healthy competition.

In another development, Salahuddin said the ministry was also committed to developing the country’s agro-tourism sector.

“An allocation of RM3 million has been made in the 2018 budget for the purpose,” he said, adding that discussions would be held with the relevant ministries and agencies as an integrated initiative to promote agro-tourism.