Special committee to discuss with Bernas on monopoly issue

KUALA LUMPUR: The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry and the special committee chaired by Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali will hold a series of discussions with Syarikat Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas) to study Bernas' monopoly over the country's rice supply, including its sole right to import rice until 2021.

Its minister, Salahuddin Ayub, said the committee would also discuss a new model to be implemented after the concession agreement with Bernas ended.

"The model will be tabled and discussed at the cabinet and then explained to the people and all interested parties.," he said when appearing as a guest on Bernama Radio's "Temu Bual Eksklusif " programme here today.

Prior to this, Salahuddin was reported to have said that ending Bernas' monopoly on rice supply in the country would lead to a more open market and healthy competition.

In another development, Salahuddin said the ministry was committed to develop the country's agro-tourism sector.

"An allocation of RM3 million has been made in the 2018 Budget for the purpose," he said, adding that discussions would be held with the relevant ministries and agencies as an integrated initiative to promote agro-tourism. — Bernama