Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t vows to monitor borders to stop illegal rice

Gov’t vows to monitor borders to stop illegal rice

A Thai truck in Pailin transports Cambodian rice. AFP
A Thai truck in Pailin transports Cambodian rice. AFP

Gov’t vows to monitor borders to stop illegal rice

The government has decided to strengthen entry points along Cambodia’s borders to block illegal rice imports, while promising to dissolve any company’s certificate of origin that is caught mixing contraband rice for export, Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) president Sok Puthyvuth announced following a meeting yesterday with Deputy Prime Minister Kheat Chhon.

Additionally, the government will scrap the value added tax (VAT) on imports of rice milling machinery – a move aimed at reducing millers’ high capital costs.

“As result of the meeting, the government has decided to drop the VAT on milling machines for the rice industry,” Puthyvuth said.

Members of a government task force attending the closed-door meeting also considered a request by the CRISIS (Cambodian Rice Industry Survival Implementation Strategy) initiative for the government to facilitate $250 million in soft loans to rice millers.

The funding package aims at reducing the financial burden on millers, who typically have to take loans out at 8 to 10 per cent interest from commercial banks or 20 to 30 per cent interest from microfinance lenders.

While Puthyyuth said nothing concrete had been decided about issuing soft loans, a recommendation to reduce logistics costs by facilitating access to Laem Chabang port in Thailand was also discussed during the meeting.

The request to reduce electricity tariffs to about 400 riel per kilowatt hour, was also broached.

“The result of meeting was very productive, and rice millers and members of committee are happy with the results”, said Moul Sarith, acting secretary-general of the CRF. “With the VAT dissolved, it will motivate rice millers to stay in the industry.”

According to Sarith, the government will implement the new requirements after Khmer New Year in mid-April.

The CRISIS group produced a nine-point action plan to address what some described as a rice industry on the brink of collapse. Commerce Minister Sun Chanthol submitted a report that mirrors four urgent measures outlined in this plan to Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 10.

“Out of the four issues under discussion, some are difficult to deal with,” Chhon said, adding that they only dealt with the ones that are possible.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’