19/09/2007 (Daily Express News), Tawau - The Government has agreed to implement a new formula for cess collection beginning October this year to finance the Cooking Oil Subsidy Scheme (COSS), Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui said Monday.
He said under the new formula, RM0.02 is collected for every RM1 increase in price above the threshold price.
As such, with the Crude palm Oil (CPO) price of RM2,600 the cess collected will be RM22 (CPO price - threshold price x 0.02), thus giving a savings of RM2 for every tonne of CPO produced.
The COSS is aimed at maintaining the current ceiling price of cooking oil in various packages below five kilogrammes for household consumption.
He further disclosed that a Steering Committee on COSS has been established in his Ministry to review the implementation of the scheme, in which members include representatives from the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA).
In this context, it was agreed to include representatives from the East Malaysian Planters' Association (EMPA) to further promote transparency as well as include feedback from the industry in East Malaysia and any balance from the COSS will be used to finance activities for the benefit of the industry.
Chin said announced this to 105 participants representing EMPA, MPOA as well as Kelab Pertanian Tawau, Malaysian Estate Owners' Association (MEOA), Incorporated Society of Planters (ISP) and major palm oil companies in a dialogue at a hotel here.
The dialogue was aimed at addressing issues of concern to the industry in Sabah, particularly in the Tawau. Eight other issues were raised. They were:
- Consideration of double tax deduction for cess contribution, which is currently part of expenses;
- Review the state tax of 7.5 per cent;
- High levy of foreign labour in the plantation sector;
- Proposal to allow recruitment of foreign workers from Myanmar, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos to work in the plantation sector.
- Review of the State's CPO price, which is lower than the national average price;
- Consideration of cess exemption from oil plantations developed by co-operatives:
- Improvement of infrastructures especially access roads to smallholdings to reduce transportation cost:
- Need for the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to set up its office in Tawau.
Chin told the participants the need for the industry to work closely with the Ministry as well as the MPOB, adding that to date, the latter had developed 350 technologies, which are currently available for commercialisation by the industry.