PUTRAJAYA: The government will maintain the subsidy of RM4 billion for cooking oil in 1kg packets allocated for this year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced.

He said the subsidy, which began in June 2007, was provided by the government only for that 1kg cooking oil packed in polybags priced at RM2.50 each, compared to the real market price of RM9 each, and for the consumption of Malaysian families from the B40 group.

“The government is currently subsidising 60,000 metric tonnes of cooking oil per month, far above the actual consumption of 55,000 metric tonnes per month,” he said at a special press conference to explain the issue of cooking oil subsidy here today.

He said the government spent RM2.2 billion last year and RM500 million in 2020 to provide the cooking oil subsidy.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri also announced that the subsidy for cooking oil in bottles of 1kg, 2kg, 3kg and 5kg will be stopped from July 1 as it was a temporary measure introduced by the government in August 2021 to help the people during the pandemic.

He said the subsidy was initially given for three months at a cost of RM55 million per month and was extended until now.

“However, the government found that the subsidy for cooking oil in bottles was rampantly exploited for industrial, commercial and smuggling activities.

“Therefore, starting July 1, the government will not continue the subsidy for cooking oil in bottles as it no longer meets the initial objective of helping those affected by the pandemic,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the supply of subsidised cooking oil in bottles and polybags will continue to be monitored to ensure the prices remain under control without any leakage.

He said enforcement would also be intensified to prevent leakages in the cooking oil distribution system.

“We have over 2,000 enforcement personnel, 72 enforcement command centres capable of responding promptly to any complaint, and we also have almost 1,000 price-monitoring officers who will help ensure no leakage in the cooking oil subsidy system,” he said.

Nanta said his ministry would also actively advocate for consumers to understand the situation and help limit the purchase of subsidised cooking oil in 1kg packet,” he added. - Bernama