PARIT BUNTAR, August 9 – The government has announced an increase in the subsidy rate for paddy from RM360 to RM500 per metric ton, effective from tomorrow. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim stated that the enhancement of the Paddy Price Subsidy Scheme (PPSS) will enable paddy farmers to receive at least RM1,700 per ton, thereby boosting their income and motivating them to increase production. He mentioned that this increase entails an additional financial implication of around RM360 million per year, making the total allocation for PPSS reach RM1 billion annually.

“When I was the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister in the 1990s, that was the first time I increased the price of paddy. Later, it did not increase further because if it does, the government needs to bear the expenses. The subsidy rate of RM360 per metric ton will be raised to RM500 starting tomorrow. This is the largest increase in history. We do not want to announce something for today and it’s different for next year. We announce that today the price of paddy will increase nationwide,” he said.

He made this statement during a speech at the Sentuhan Agro Madani program in Perak on Tuesday. Present at the event were Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, his Deputy Chan Foong Hin, as well as Perak’s Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad. Anwar further added that the government will review the paddy grading mechanism by placing agricultural officers in the mills. We have received complaints about the quality of wet rice from manufacturers. How can we control it when sometimes it’s accurate, sometimes it’s not, sometimes they cut 5 percent and sometimes 10 percent.

“I have discussed this with the ministry; we need to train specialized agricultural officers who will be stationed at private mills and Bernas to monitor so that manufacturers do not cut wet rice according to their preferences. There should be conditions,” he stated. Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, mentioned that the ministry plans to allocate more funds for the implementation of five seasons of paddy cultivation within a two-year period, as an initiative to increase the nation’s rice production.

“Although the initial projection of RM3 billion is not enough, we have to add more. The government will do its best. How can I announce this today? Our officers have been working tirelessly, planning, and seeking input from various parties, including the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) and the Ministry of Economy,” he added.

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