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Rice mill allegedly hoarding 180 tonnes of local rice busted

ALOR SETAR: Authorities confiscated 180 tonnes of local white rice, worth an estimated RM405,000, found hidden in a rice mill in the state.

Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Chan Foong Hin said an inspection at the mill found the Local Super Special 5% (SST5) concealed in undisclosed storage inside jumbo containers on Monday (Oct 9).

“For now, the mill’s location or company name cannot be disclosed to prevent any interference with the ongoing investigation. This is the first seizure made under Ops Beras Putih Tempatan.

“I was informed that the Paddy and Rice Regulatory Division conducts routine operations consistently. Last Saturday, the division also carried out an operation and confiscated rice at a mill here,” he told reporters after participating in a monitoring operation at a rice mill here today (Oct 10).

The case is currently being investigated under the Control of Paddy and Rice Act 1994 (Act 522) and the Paddy and Rice Control Regulations (Licensing of Rice Mills) 1996, he added.

Chan also warned the relevant parties to comply with the established laws, emphasising that the ministry and task force members would take strict action against those found violating existing regulations.

So far, the opeeration task force has conducted inspections on eight rice wholesalers and six rice manufacturers in this state to detect any activities of hoarding rice, changing packaging and mixing local white rice with imported white rice, he added.

Commenting on rice farmers’ requests in the state for higher paddy purchase prices from manufacturers, Chan said his ministry understands the issues faced by them and always seeks solutions to address the problem.

However, any adjustments to the paddy purchase price must align with the retail prices charged on consumers to prevent losses to wholesalers and manufacturers, he added.

Addressing the proposal from some parties to raise the Paddy Price Subsidy Scheme rate, Chan said the new government had recently increased it from RM360 per tonne to RM500 per tonne in August.

“To increase the rate in the immediate future would not be easy, so we will explore other options to meet the needs of all parties and stakeholders in this industry,” he said. – Bernama QR Code

Published Date: October 10, 2023

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