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KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) will bring up the issues related to rice at the special meeting of the National Action Council on Cost of Living (NACCOL), tomorrow.

Acting minister Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali (pix) said matters related to the extension of authority of KPDN enforcement personnel would also be brought up in the meeting to intensify efforts to regulate the supply of rice.

“Among the issues that will be presented for consideration, is the proposal for KPDN together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (KPKM) to be given the extension of authority under Subsection 6(1) of Act 522 (Control of Padi and Rice Act).

“We were informed by the Rice Regulatory Division that they have only 190 enforcement personnel. We at KPDN have 2,200 enforcement personnel. If KPKM feels it is appropriate to consider this, we can strengthen the enforcement aspect at all levels in the country,“ he told a press conference in Selayang here today.

He said for the time being, KPDN enforcement personnel could only use the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 and the Consumer Protection Act 1999, but could not intervene in the aspects of price determination and rice supply.

“We hope that KPDN enforcement personnel will be given the extension of authority under Act 522 so that they could not only monitor and channel information but also take enforcement actions,“ he said.

Armizan said that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would also chair the NACCOL special meeting at the monitoring committee level on Thursday.

Earlier, he conducted checks on the supply and prices of basic necessities such as rice, oil, sugar and eggs at two supermarkets in Selayang.

He admitted that the supply of rice had reduced and said that the two supermarkets had been experiencing a disruption in the local rice supply since August.

“The supply is there but the amount received is much less and this didn’t just start after the announcement of the price increase, but since August and becoming more serious this month. Therefore, KPDN will work closely with KPKM to carry out comprehensive enforcement,“ he said.

Regarding the allegations that packet cooking oil was only sold to foreigners, he said investigations found that the incident did not happen. - Bernama