Written by Lahiru Fernando
28 Dec, 2016 | 12:32 am
The Minister of Rural Economic Affairs should be held responsible for the prevailing rice crisis, said businessman Dudley Sirisena.
“I state with responsibility, that there shouldn’t be a scarcity of rice until April next year. There is sufficient paddy.” said, Chairman/Managing Director – Araliya Group of Companies, Dudley Sirisena.
According to Sirisena, the subject minister has used his powers to take this the power of the Paddy Marketing Board over by force, and has halted the releasing of paddy. He pointed out that the power to issue paddy from the Paddy Marketing Board lies with its Chairman and the Board of Directors.
The businessman also revealed that 500,000 kg of paddy was issues to a broker in the early hours of today.
Government cost – Rs. 43.65
Broker’s selling price after purchase – Rs. 50
“This seven rupees is something that the government can earn. The government is in possession of 200 million kilos of paddy. This multiplied by 7 is 1400 million”, he added
Dudley Sirisena also pointed out how the price of rice has gone up due to the three-month delay in issuing paddy.
“They said that the paddy was given to 10 top mill owners. Now a few of those top 10 called me and asked if I want paddy as well, paddy which was purchased at Rs. 43.65 and to be sold at Rs. 50”
Paddy Marketing Board’s first paddy tender was passed and granted to Kataragama Basnayake Nilame, who incidentally “does not have a paddy mill at the moment.” – according to Dudley Sirisena, who claimed to have purchased the paddy mill that was owned by him (Kataragama Basnayake Nilame) in Polonnaruwa.
“Someone asked me if I spoke to the president. Then I realised that this president is not someone who speaks to his brothers before taking decisions.” he added.
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