Agro based Industries Minister Salahuddin Ayub says a special committee to study Bernas’ monopoly of the rice industry will present its findings and recommendations to the cabinet by August this year. The bid to draw up the new model will be spearheaded by three special committees, as well as a parent body spanning five ministries including the Agriculture and Agro based Ministry, Transport Ministry, Economic Affairs Ministry, International Trade and Industry Ministry and Health Ministry.
The minister says the committee would come with a new model that should improve pricing of the staple. He adds, “Bernas has a concession that ends in 2021, so we will have to look into that again first.”
The three special committees, meanwhile, is each headed by the acting secretary-general of the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry, Datuk Mohd Sallehhuddin Hassan, National Agriculture Advisory Council chairman.
Salahuddin also says that it had urged the National Agriculture Advisory Council (NAAC) and the Selangor Agricultural Department to come up with proposals for the new model. NAAC was set up early this month to help the government raise the levels of national food security and agricultural exports.
Salahuddin adds that Bernas was also welcomed to submit proposals for the new model. He also says that the objective of the committee and the new model was to bring down the price of rice.