GEORGE TOWN, November 2 – Penang will no longer run out of subsidized cooking oil this week, the Ministry of Home Trade and Consumer Affairs said today.
The director of the ministry in Penang, Mohd Ridzuan Ab Ghapar, has assured that supplies of subsidized reconditioned cooking oil will be sufficient for those preparing for Deepavali, which falls on Thursday.
He said the disruption in supplies only occurred in the northeastern district of Penang Island last week, as one of the oil repackaging factories had to temporarily shut down after a worker was infected with the coronavirus.
“This is because the largest cooking oil reconditioning plant in this district had to close for a week after one of its employees tested positive for Covid-19,” he said during ‘a press conference after a stroll through Chowrasta Market here to check prices. of items at controlled prices for Deepavali.
He said the factory has a quota to produce 150 tons per month and produces the highest number of reconditioned cooking oil among the 25 reconditioning cooking oil factories.
âAnother reason for the shortage was that it was approaching the end of October and many other reconditioners are reaching their supply quota, so they have to control their supply so as not to exceed the quota,â he said. .
Mohd Ridzuan pointed out that this shortage of subsidized reconditioned cooking oil, which is sold in sealed 1kg plastic bags instead of bottles, only affected last week in the northeastern district of Penang Island. .
âThere was no shortage in other districts of the state, so reconditioners on the mainland helped meet demand,â he said.
He said there were a total of 25 reconditioners in the state who received a total quota of 3,434 kg in the state.
He said the ministry acted immediately after receiving complaints from consumers and the Penang Consumers Association (CAP) about the cooking oil shortage.
In response to CAP’s request to increase the quota of subsidized cooking oil during this festive season, Mohd Ridzuan said the existing quota is sufficient to meet the demands.
“There hadn’t been such a problem in previous years, so there was no need to increase the quota, the shortage is only one week, last week, now everything is back to normal “, did he declare.
Yesterday, CAP education manager NV Subbarow claimed to have visited 12 grocery stores on Penang Island and found no subsidized cooking oil.
He said most low-income families would buy subsidized cooking oil, which sells for RM2.50 a packet, for cooking, especially during the Deepavali holiday season, as it is affordable compared to the average. more expensive bottled cooking oil.
He had requested that more of these subsidized reconditioned cooking oils be supplied to grocery stores, especially during festive seasons, to meet demand.
Earlier, Mohd Ridzuan also checked the prices of the 11 items listed as part of the Deepavali Holiday Season Max Price Program.
The 11 items included chicken, eggs, imported lamb, tomatoes, red peppers, coconuts and grated coconut.
He said the prices of items under the program are to be sold at or below the set maximum price during this period of November 1-7.
He said the ministry would continue to conduct enforcement checks at various locations including supermarkets, wet markets and farmers’ markets to ensure all sellers meet the maximum price set for these items.