PETALING JAYA: The prime minister has agreed to implement four measures to overcome the shortage of local rice supply, including increasing the distribution in rural areas, Mohamad Sabu said.
The agriculture and food security minister said the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) would be in charge of the distribution, Bernama reported.
“And because the sales margin of local white rice is only 50 sen per 10kg of rice, the government will bear Fama’s transport cost,” said Mohamad, who is better known as Mat Sabu.
He said Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim had agreed to the four measures at a meeting today.
He also said Putrajaya has agreed to provide a subsidy of RM950 per tonne for imported white rice from Oct 5. The subsidy would allow for imported rice to be retailed at RM31 per 10kg pack.
Mohamad also said the ministry has set up a special task force including police and Customs officers to conduct checks on rice firms, from factories to wholesalers, from tomorrow.
Earlier today, Mohamad blamed the shortage of local rice supplies on panic buying that was triggered by a video falsely claiming that supplies were about to run out.
His ministry also found that consumers were now buying local rice after the price of imported rice shot up following India’s decision to halt exports.
Mohamad said Anwar had also contacted his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, on importing rice from India. “Hopefully we will have good news next week.”
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