It was recently announced that the Selangor government will be subsidising the purchase of imported rice via Padiberas Nasional Bhd. This subsidy is expected to continue until the end of the year to ensure that there is a stable supply of staple foods within the state. This decision comes quick on the heels of an earlier announcement that imported rice prices are on the rise.
According to Selangor State Infrastructure and Agriculture Committee chairman Izham Hashim, imported rice was bought at a price of RM17 per 5kg. It is then resold to the people at a price of RM13 per 5kg under the Jualan Ehsan Rakyat (JER) programme.
RM13 per kg ceiling price for local white rice
“Recently we had a discussion with Bernas. It bought imported rice but we sell it according to the price of local white rice (at a subsidy). We buy for RM17 per 5kg but we sell for RM13, which is the ceiling price for local white rice,” he said, Bernama reports.
“We have been repacking this imported rice for sale under the JER programme at four branches of the Selangor Agricultural Development Corporation and other mobile sales since last week,” he told the media after the 2024 Agricultural Census Retreat Session with state agencies.
Izham also mentioned that the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry expects the rice supply to stabilise within the coming weeks. However, he also mentioned that the state government is prepared to continue subsidising rice for several more months to ensure that supply is adequate.
Proposal for govt premises to use subsidised imported white rice
Separately, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security had also proposed that government premises like hospitals, school hostels and military camps to use subsidised imported rice. This suggestion was brought up as a way to help free up the demand on local white rice supply to the general public.
The minister, Datu Seri Mohamad Sabu also added that the Indian government is expected to come to a decision on whether to allow white rice to be exported to Malaysia next week.