PUTRAJAYA: Cooking oil will cost between RM3.70 and RM3.90 per kilo from next Tuesday. The price increase will not include oil sold in one kilo polybags which the government will continue to subsidise to allow the price to be maintained at RM2.50.
At present, a 1kg bottle of cooking oil is between RM3.30 and RM3.60.
Under the subsidy rationalisation exercise, bottled cooking oil is to be priced according to market rate and the price range mentioned is based on the existing rate of RM3,000 per tonne for palm olein and after taking in other costs including packaging.
Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Co-operatives Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said this measure was necessary or the Government would have to fork out an additional RM200mil to subsidise cooking oil for the months of November and December.
This, he said, was due to increase in palm olein prices which shot up by RM600 per tonne since September from RM2,341 recorded last year.
“Despite the increase, the Government will continue to subsidise cooking oil to benefit the target group, which is why the price in packets remains at RM2.50 per kilo. Those who need help and attention will continue to be assisted,” he assured.
For 2016, the Government allocated RM600mil for cooking oil subsidy.
“The amount of subsidy for next year has yet to be determined.”
He assured the public of sufficient supply of subsidised cooking oil while the ministry would monitor the price set by refineries to ensure the goods would not be sold “way above market rate”.
Some 85,000 tonnes of cooking oil are being produced every month.
“Although we allow the market to determine the price, we have the anti-profiteering laws and will use it on the culprits if we find out the products are overpriced,” he pledged.
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board will inform the ministry on the movement in price of palm olein monthly but it is not clear how this information will be channelled to the public.
Hamzah said the exercise would also prevent people from neighbouring countries from buying subsidised cooking oil and those who smuggle the goods across the borders would find it difficult to sell it as it would no longer be cheap.