Date 22/05/2007
News Provider Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
News Source Bernama
Headlines Price Stabilisation Scheme For Cooking Oil Re-Introduced
KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 (Bernama) -- The government is reactivating the cooking oil price stabilisation scheme from June 1 in an effort to ensure sufficient supply of cooking oil and that its ceiling price is maintained, the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry announced today.

The scheme will be funded by a cess collected from oil palm plantation and estate companies and owners, it said.

A ministry statement said representatives of industry associations, estate owners and other parties concerned had agreed to pay the cess as their social responsibility in ensuring that the supply of cooking oil is not disrupted.

Under the scheme, the government will use the cess to compensate in stages for the losses incurred by cooking oil manufacturers and packers since last January.

The ministry estimated the compensation for the January-May period at RM145.41 million.

"However, the compensation claims received for January-April amounted to RM74 million," it said. "Of this amount, a first payment of 10 percent, totalling RM7.4 million, was made today to 11 refiners and 193 packers."

The balance is scheduled to be paid by end-June, it added.

The ceiling prices for cooking oil in 1 kg packets and bottles of 1, 2 and 3 kg are RM2.50, RM3.30, RM6.25 and RM13.35 respectively.

The crude palm oil (CPO) price has been rising steadily in recent months, and currently stands at RM2,520 a month.

The statement also said the price stabilisation scheme will be monitored by a steering committee while a working committee will ensure sufficient supply of cooking oil and that the price ceiling is maintained. This will be done with the cooperation of the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.

Meanwhile, the director-general of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Datuk Dr Mohd Basri Wahid, said the compensation is being paid in stages because it takes time to collect the cess from the more than 4,000 oil palm plantation and estate owners throughout the country.

The price stabilisation scheme has been implemented three times previously, the last in 2004 when the CPO price went beyond RM1,700 a ton.