Move to help small farmers

  • Letters
  • Thursday, 27 Mar 2003

THE Government has allowed the country’s small-time vegetable farmers to purchase a maximum of 20 litres of diesel per day from specified petrol stations in a move to help relieve their financial burden. 

The move comes after the price of diesel for industrial use shot up a month ago. 

Parliamentary secretary to the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry Wong Kam Hoong said the move enabled vegetable farmers to save 24 sen per litre, according to Sin Chew Daily

He said that the move was approved by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in consideration of the plight of the small-time vegetable farmers. 

Under the move, farmers will have to fill an application form to seek prior approval before they are allowed to buy diesel from the specified kiosks, said the daily. 

Wong said that some vegetable farmers used to buy diesel from the oil companies and others from the kiosks, adding that there was no problem in the past as oil companies and petrol kiosks sold diesel at almost the same price. 

Vegetable farmers felt the pinch after the price of diesel for industrial use shot up a month ago. At present, oil companies sell diesel for industrial use at RM1 per litre, while the same is being sold at petrol kiosks for 76 sen per litre. 

According to the daily, Wong said the Government could only help ease the financial burden of the small-time vegetable farmers, although operators of large-scale vegetable farms also requested that they be allowed to buy diesel at the kiosk price. 

“The diesel sold by petrol kiosks is meant for the ordinary people. The Government will cause market confusion if it allows petrol kiosks to sell diesel to the industrial operators,” he said. 

Federation of Vegetable Farmers Association Malaysia president Tan Soo Chew said the 20-litre limit was far from adequate for a vegetable farmer. 

He proposed that vegetable farmers be allowed to buy a daily maximum of 200 litres of diesel from the petrol kiosks. 

·THE retail price of gold has remained unchanged in the domestic market despite the drastic plunge in the major share markets in the region as a result of the Gulf War. 

Datuk Ng Teck Fong, adviser to the Federation of Goldsmiths and Jewellers Association Malaysia, said this was because the sale of gold was largely a domestic business, on which the international situation would have minimum impact, Nanyang Siang Pau reported. 

He said that generally the country’s gold market tended to be stable when the country’s political and economic environment was stable. 

According to the daily, Ng described the present gold market as calm.  

·MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) has been exempted from paying taxes from 2001 to 2005. 

Sin Chew Daily reported the Finance Ministry had, through Statutory Document No. 58 of 2003, informed Parliament that the Government had granted the tax exemption to MAS.  

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