PUTRAJAYA – From Nov 1, the price of cooking oil in 1 kilogramme (kg) packets will remain at RM2.50/pack whereas cooking oil in bottles will be sold at market prices.
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, when announcing the matter today, said the change followed a restructuring of the Cooking Oil Stabilisation Scheme (COSS).
He said the restructuring was done following the price increase in processed palm oil (olein) from RM2,341/tonne in January last year to almost RM3,000/tonne now.
With the restructuring, he said the government would have to incur an additional expenditure of almost RM100 million a month to subsidise cooking oil in November and December due to the higher price of olein.
“The government is maintaining the price of the 1kg packs to ensure the needy still get to enjoy government subsidy,” he told a press conference here today.
The Cabinet meeting on Sept 21 had agreed that the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry take over the management of COSS from the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, effective Nov 1.
The price of cooking oil in bottles including 1kg bottles is estimated will be between RM3.70 and RM3.90 per kg according to the market rate.
According to Hamzah, the government had allocated RM600 million to subsidise cooking oil in the 2016 Budget while for next year it had yet to be finalised.
“It is hoped the restructuring (of the COSS) can reduce this basic necessity from being smuggled to neighbouring countries,” he said.
Hamzah also annnounced that the ministry seized cooking oil worth about RM5,000 in raids in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang recently.
Prior to this, Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani had said that the government had to subsidise 85,000 tonnes of cooking oil a month.
According to Johari, studies found that Malaysians on average only used about 40,000 tonnes of cooking oil a month. – BERNAMA