Selangor Journal
A customer selecting a 10kg bag of local rice at RM26 per bag, during the Agro Bazaar programme at Kampung Jalan Kebun Seksyen 30, Shah Alam, on September 21, 2023. — Picture by BERNAMA

Several companies involved in rice cartel, says Naccol task force

KEPALA BATAS, March 17 — There is a local rice cartel involving four to five companies which acted to control the buying and selling of the product, leading to a shortage of the staple food in the market and increase in prices.

National Action Council on Cost of Living (Naccol) Task Force (Food Cluster) chairman Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal said the information was obtained through engagement sessions with rice farmers, millers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers.

Hussin said he will present the matter at the Naccol meeting on March 20 so that the government can take serious action against the companies involved. 

“These companies control up to 80 per cent of the local rice market. The cartel buys rice at a high price of up to RM1,850 per tonne of rice and then raises the price of rice.

“In fact, some of these companies sell local rice in imported rice packages.  This is a cartel action that causes an unstable ecosystem of rice and its prices,” he told reporters after attending the Northern Zone Madani Activists Breaking Fast Ceremony at the Penang Golf Resort, here, last night.

Hussin, who is also the Bukit Gantang MP, said the findings also showed that the cartel has been influencing rice farmers by offering higher rice prices and at the same time putting pressure on consumers with increased prices.

He added that he would also present a proposal to grant a subsidy of RM200 to rice farmers for every tonne of rice sold to millers at the upcoming Naccol meeting so that local rice can be sold at RM30 for a 10kg pack.

“The farmers want RM1,700 for each tonne of rice, but we don’t want to consumers to be affected by high price. 

“If it reaches RM1,700 (per tonne), the retail price of rice will be at RM35 per 10kg. However, the millers can only buy at RM1,500. So, I suggest that the government subsidise RM200 (per tonne of rice) so that rice can be sold at RM30 per 10kg bag,” he said.

— Bernama

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