The government does not intend to reduce the price of the one-kilogramme pack subsidised cooking oil at RM2.50 at the moment even though the price of palm oil has fallen, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
He said even though the subsidy borne by the government was getting thinner following the fall in the price of palm oil, it had not reached the level the government could lower the price of cooking oil in the market.
"Earlier, the government gave a subsidy of 60 sen for every one-kilogramme pack cooking oil to enable the item to be sold at RM2.50 per kilogramme.
“Even though the government's subsidy line is no longer at 60 sen, the government has no plan to lower the price of subsidised cooking oil for the time being,” he told a media conference after launching Malaysia Business Ethic (EPM) in Putrajaya today.
He was commenting on the statement of Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan who questioned the government for not reducing the price of cooking oil to enable the people to benefit from the fall in the price of palm oil.
Mohamad was quoted as saying that the price of palm oil for December was only RM1,775 per tonne which was almost 50 per cent lower compared to the price at the end of 2016 when the BN government was forced to limit subsidised cooking oil to only one kilogramme pack at RM2.50 per customer as the price of palm oil had rocketed to around RM3,000 per tonne.
Saifuddin said the government had allocated RM700 million this year to cover the 60 sen subsidy for each one-kilogramme pack cooking oil.
"RM700 million is a large sum of money so I do not think this measure is a practical solution in the present situation,” he said.
Saifuddin said the price of local cooking oil especially those which were not subsidised by the government had fallen following the current market price of palm oil.
"Generally, the price of unsubsidised cooking oil depends on supply and demand and according to the branding as well as the quality of processing the cooking oil,” he said.