Selangor Journal

Gov’t has not revoked concession agreement with Bernas — Ministry

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 12 — The government has not withdrawn or revoked the concession agreement with Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) that was signed for a 10-year period from January 11, 2021 to January 10, 2031, the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry (KPKM) said in a statement today.

In refuting viral claims that the concession agreement has been revoked, KPKM said a complaint has been lodged with the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to allow a thorough investigation to be carried out.

“The ministry advises the public not to believe the fake message and to stop the spread of the misleading information,” read the statement.

On December 3, 2020, the government announced the extension of Bernas’ concession for rice distribution in the country for another 10 years beginning from  January 11, 2021, after the earlier agreement expired.

With the extension, the concession was improved with several new terms which included an increase in the number of social obligations from five to ten.

Among them are managing a stockpile, purchasing padi at a guaranteed minimum price decided by the government, acting as the buyer of last resort, and managing the disbursement of subsidies to farmers.

On claims over the lack of enforcement, the ministry said the Local White Rice Integrated Operation is ongoing and so far, two factories have been seized and are being investigated under the Control of Padi and Rice  Act 1994 (Act 522).

The operation, first conducted on August 16, is led by KPKM Deputy Minister Datuk Chan Foong Hin.

The operation, which focuses on inspecting and enforcing regulations on commercial rice mills and rice wholesalers, is in collaboration with various agencies including the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry enforcement division and the police.

— Bernama

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