Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Malaysia to spend 1.472 billion ringgit to subsidise rice farmers this year

source: AFP via MSN Malaysia News
Malaysia will spend 1.472 billion ringgit (458 million dollars) this year to subsidise rice farmers and import more rice from Thailand to bolster its stockpile, the agriculture minister said Tuesday. Agriculture minister Mustapa Mohamed said the government would also spend an additional 254 million ringgit to boost local rice production, as the price of Asia's staple diet continued to soar. "We want to make sure that the interest of the low-income earners are protected and that is why the government is willing to accept a big loss as a result of the large subsidies we are giving," Mustapa told reporters. "We cannot afford to let down the poor in society who will be hit the hardest by the increase in rice prices," he added.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi late Monday announced the country would, for the first time, spend at least 725 million ringgit to subsidise foreign rice imports to keep retail prices of the staple affordable. He also said the price of two popular local rice types -- a higher quality and an average grade -- will be capped from June 1 to keep manufacturers from raising their prices further and burdening consumers. The minimum guaranteed market price has also been raised to benefit farmers who sell rice to encourage them to grow more of the crop. -- MORE

Measures to keep price of rice down KUALA LUMPUR: The government announced measures to hold down the price of rice yesterday, including securing supplies of price-controlled 15 per cent broken rice and setting price caps for two other grades of the grain. Full Story
Move to cost govt RM719m a year KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's move to raise the retirement age of civil servants will cost the government about RM719 million a year starting from next year, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said. Full Story
Thai sellers want us to pay more BANGKOK: The Malaysian government and Thai rice exporters are deadlocked over the "price tag" for new purchases, with the world's biggest rice exporter insisting on the current market level of about US$1,000 (RM3,197) a tonne. Full Story

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