Bernas unit urges govt to review rice delivery permits

13.07.2018

Syarikat Faiza Sdn Bhd, a 51% subsidiary of the country's sole rice importer PadiBeras Nasional Bhd (Bernas), is asking for the government to review the issuance of permits to deliver rice products inter-state and inter-cities, claiming it is slowing the business down.

"We are not talking about approved permit (AP) as that comes under Bernas. We are talking about the permit to deliver products among the cities and the states," Syarikat Faiza's managing director Faiza Bawumi Sayed Ahmad told reporters after a 45-minute briefing to the Council of Eminent Persons at Menara Ilham today.

According to Faiza, the company currently requires a permit from the authority to deliver rice products throughout the different cities and states.

Faiza claims the government had introduced the permit system for food security reason since the colonial era, as rice is considered as one of the most important staple food in the country.

"Now that the communists are no longer in the country, the government should consider reviewing the issuance of this particular permit system," she said.

"Perhaps the permit system is still valid to curb the smuggling of rice, but it is slowing down the business. For our part, we are required to deliver to the outlets in time and any delay caused by issues related to the delivery permit will result in us being penalised," she lamented.

Under the Ministry of Agriculture, the government issues a licence to qualified persons or business entities to trade and sell rice products in a retail market, starting from 10,000kg.

At the same time, Faiza also urged the government to provide more incentives for the local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which could take the form of a funding and financing scheme.

"For us, we are not eligible as our sales are more than RM15 million. But we are voicing our ideas to support the SMEs," she added.

Meanwhile, Faiza declined to comment on the government's move to terminate Bernas monopoly within the rice industry.

"I have no comment on that, as that is at Bernas level," she said.

Shortly after his appointment as the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, Salahuddin Ayub announced that the Cabinet had agreed to terminate Bernas' monopoly, which in turn will protect the interest of local paddy farmers.


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