Ex­tra RM2.9m paid in cook­ing oil sub­sidy

> AG’s re­port: Ad­di­tional cost due to weak­nesses in COSS man­age­ment

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

PETALING JAYA: The gov­ern­ment paid an ex­tra RM2.92 mil­lion in sub­si­dies fol­low­ing weak­nesses in the man­age­ment of the Cook­ing Oil Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Scheme (COSS), ac­cord­ing to the 2015 Au­di­tor-Gen­eral’s Re­port (Series 2).

Ac­cord­ing to Au­di­tor-Gen­eral Tan Sri Am­brin Buang, the Min­istry of Plan­ta­tion In­dus­tries and Com­modi­ties (MPIC) had ap­proved monthly cook­ing oil quota amount­ing to 82,169 met­ric tonnes for 25 re­finer­ies and 241 pack­ag­ing com­pa­nies as of April.

Am­brin said the gov­ern­ment had paid a to­tal sub­sidy of RM2.388 bil­lion for the pe­riod from 2013 to April 2016.

He pointed out that tem­po­rary pack­ag­ing quo­tas which were given to 10 palm oil re­finer­ies and eight pack­ag­ing com­pa­nies with­out com­ply­ing with stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures (SOP) with these tem­po­rary quo­tas were pro­longed be­tween nine and 12 months.

He said the tem­po­rary pack­ag­ing quota ap­proval re­sulted in an ex­cess max­i­mum quota limit be­tween 64 and 464 met­ric tonnes per month caus­ing an in­crease in gov­ern­ment sub­sidy ex­pen­di­ture es­ti­mated at RM2.92 mil­lion.

Am­brin also noted that seven cook­ing oil quota hold­ers were given per­mis­sion to ap­point third party op­er­a­tors to pack­age the cook­ing oil even though this also did not com­ply with the SOP.

He then rec­om­mended that tem­po­rary quota packs should ad­here to the SOP with the dis­tri­bu­tion pe­riod not ex­ceed­ing six months, and COSS ap­proved quota.

Call­ing for the COSS claim pro­ce­dure to be im­proved, Am­brin also urged for more vig­or­ous mon­i­tor­ing.

“Con­stant mon­i­tor­ing and con­trol on cook­ing oils should be made to prevent dis­tri­bu­tion abuse or leak­ages.

“This is also to en­sure that sub­sidised cook­ing oils are supplied and made avail­able in the mar­ket.”

The re­port which was re­leased yes­ter­day also pointed that the Na­tional Blue Ocean Strat­egy should be es­tab­lished in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Do­mes­tic Trade, Co-op­er­a­tives and Con­sumerism Min­istry and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board to fur­ther en­hance mon­i­tor­ing at the re­tail­ing stage.

COSS is a fund­ing scheme that sub­sidises palm oil re­finer­ies on a monthly ba­sis.

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