30/03/2008 (NST Online), Johor Baru - Consumers will suffer if the ceiling on the price of cooking oil is lifted to help oil palm producers.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad said the man on the street would be affected if there was no cap on the price of cooking oil.
He was responding yesterday to the Malaysian Estate Owners' Association's request for the ceiling to be scrapped.
It was reported on Thursday that association president Boon Weng Siew said that the price control mechanism under the Cooking Oil Subsidy Scheme (COSS) was causing the industry to suffer.
Boon had also claimed that the RM2.50 per kg cap (about half the global price) had led to smuggling and an artificial shortage.
Under COSS, a monthly cess is imposed on oil palm producers with more than 40ha of plantation based on the average price of crude palm oil.
Shahrir said the payment of cess was to help maintain the price of cooking oil.
"However, the ministry is undertaking an overall evaluation of the system. We hope the association will be patient and await directions from the ministry."