Published: Monday October 15, 2012 MYT 7:31:00 PM
Updated: Monday October 15, 2012 MYT 10:04:35 PM
A-G's Report: Rice Subsidy Programme failed to benefit poor
By EILEEN NG
PETALING JAYA: The Rice Subsidy Programme managed by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry and Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) failed to benefit the targeted low-income group, said the 2011 Auditor-General report.
It said the programme did not have proper mechanism to ensure the group enjoyed its benefits.
The report stated that the rice was found to be openly sold at supermarkets and sundry shops, allowing everyone, including foreigners to buy the rice at a cheaper price.
The programme was implemented in Sept 1, 2008 to ensure the poor get to buy rice at a cheaper price.
The programme supplied Super Tempatan ST15% rice (Peninsular Malaysia) and S15% rice (Sabah and Sarawak) to meet rising consumer demand, maintain controlled subsidised rice price at RM1.65 to RM1.80 per kg by zone and cover losses incurred by subsidised rice manufacturers.
In response, the ministry acknowledged there were abuses and had identified ways to curb it such as disallowing the ST15% rice being sold in normal retail outlets.
It proposed that the rice could be distributed through selected channels like farmers markets, Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) stores, Transformasi Untuk Kedai Runcit (Tukar) programme, Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (Fama) and Felda retail networks as well as the Armed Forces Trading Corp of Malaysia (Pernama).
It also proposed to work with the Welfare department, Home ministry and Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism ministry to ensure the effectiveness of distribution of subsidised rice to the poor.