Saturday 15 September 2012

Secretive palm oil permits - what is gov't hiding?

The duty free export quota has been abused for many years. It has allegedly been freely given to Umno cronies who know next to nothing about the palm oil trade, let alone know the difference between an oil palm tree and a coconut tree.

It is very much like the car approved permits (AP) system in which the licence is often sold to bona fide palm oil refineries and exporters for easy money.

As an example, a crony company or individual is given a licence say for 100,000mt (metric tonnes) which is then hocked to a genuine exporter for between RM5-10 per mt without doing anything. This is real Alibaba business.

There has always been a shortage of CPO for local refining in the ratio this year of 18.5m tons to 24m tons. In the process, refiners often have to scramble and pay a premium even for quantity purchase apart from meeting the shortfall by importing from Indonesia.

To add insult to injury, the government has increased the duty free quota this year to 5mt from 3.5mt previously. What is the rationale behind this, if not to give a free ride to the cronies?

Why can't the list of those benefiting from this scheme be released to the general public? Is it such a threat to national security that it must be gazetted under the OSA? What has the government got to hide?

Going by the current market price of CPO at 23 percent export duty uncollected the government would have lost RM4b. How many public projects could have been undertaken with this lost revenue?
Instead, it has been abused to enrich cronies. 

No comments:

Post a Comment