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Subsidy on rice, sugar to stay

Friday, May 16, 2008

THE government will continue subsidising rice and sugar, Radio Television Brunei (RTB) reported last night.

In an interview with RTB, Hj Umar Ali Hj Abdullah, the director of the State Store and Information Technology, said that the government is aware of the global food crisis at the moment, and is always attentive to new development.

Hj Umar said although the country still depends on rice imports, the increase in the global price of the commodity will not affect retail prices in Brunei.

"The rice supply in the country is consistently sufficient and guaranteed. Therefore, the price of the three types of rice being imported will remain the same," he said.

"The government has no plans of raising the prices," he added.

The subsidy provided by the government is aimed at lessening the burden of the citizens of Brunei, RTB reported.

Currently, the government has a long-term agreement with the largest rice provider in Thailand, Chia Meng Company Limited.

According to RTB, the country imports 33,000 metric tonnes per year which includes fragrant rice, white rice and glutinous rice. Imported rice is transported through containers twice a month.

The retail price for 10 kilogrammes of fragrant rice is $12.50, Siam white rice $8.50 and glutinous rice $7.60. There are 251 companies nationwide that are registered to sell rice, the report said.

The government also gives sugar subsidy.

The country imports 5,500 metric tonnes of refined sugar a year from Thailand, retailing at $12.50 for 10 kilogrammes. (SHS1).

The Brunei Times
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