Updated: Sep 8
By Muhammad Zulsyamini Sufian Suri - August 8, 2023 @ 12:08pm firstname.lastname@example.org
PARIT BUNTAR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced an increase in the rate of the Rice Price Subsidy Scheme (SSHP) from RM360 per metric ton to RM500 per metric ton with effect tomorrow.
This was announced by the Prime Minister when he spoke of inaugurating the Majlis Touch of the Negeri Perak Rank Agromadani at the Kerian Lermai Council, here today.
Also present was the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu.
When announcing the increase in subsidies, Anwar was cynical, insinuating those who had previously frequently attacked him personally by quoting the phrase 'today public, tomorrow down'.
The paddy fields have not received an increase in rice subsidies, as early as the end of this month.
"What, harassing me again today, tomorrow the power will be reduced. Today, today it is public, tomorrow the price of rice throughout Malaysia will increase," he said when making the announcement last night.
Anwar said the increase in subsidies of RM140, which was expected to generate additional allocations of RM1 billion a year, was the only increase in subsidies since the last increase was announced some 25 years ago.
He said, the announcement will see the country's rice fields earn RM1,700 for one ton of rice production, starting today, the aim of which is to lighten the burden on rice fields, it is to promote an increase in the productivity of rice production among rice fields.
He said the announcement was hoped to relieve rice fields which were also facing increasing costs of agricultural inputs such as steel prices and poisons that were burdening them, especially in a situation where rice prices were declining and cuts in high quality.
"The most recent increase (rice subsidy) was when Anwar Ibrahim was Minister of Finance first, 25 years ago. Alhamdulillah, now that he has become Minister of Finance, the subsidy has increased again from RM360 to RM500," he said.
Touching on an issue that is often the grievance of rice fields, namely regarding cutting the quality of wet rice (paddy), Anwar said, the government will oversee this situation by training employees of the Department of Agriculture to be assigned specifically to rice mills.
"There are complaints (complaints) regarding the control over cuts in quality because sometimes they are right, but sometimes the price that should be reduced by five percent, suddenly becomes 10 percent.
"I have discussed with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (KPKM) where later we will train special Agricultural Officers who will be at private refineries to monitor them freely.
"It's so that private manufacturers don't cut wet rice according to their taste, on the contrary they are subject to certain conditions. Based on the law, Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) is forced to buy wet rice (as the final buyer) if people don't want to buy it from the rice fields, so Bernas has to buy it, he said.