Small and Medium Rice Mills release stocks to domestic market

Small and Medium Rice Mills release stocks to domestic market

Small and Medium Rice Mills release stocks to domestic market

Written by Zulfick Farzan

26 May, 2020 | 7:43 pm

Colombo (News 1st); Small and Medium Rice Mill owners in the Polonnaruwa District, decided to release their stocks of rice to the domestic market today.

These mills have come out to propose a fixed price of 98 rupees per kilogram of rice which would be supplied continuously to Lanka SATHOSA.

They claim the Large Mills only have 35% of the market share adding their network of Small and Medium Mills possess sufficient stocks greater than the Large Mills.

Their objective is to put an end to the monopoly of Large Rice Mills, said M. A. Samarkoon, a representative of the Polonnaruwa District Small and Medium Mill Owners Collective.

Former State Minister Roshan Ranasinghe, who intervened in this process blamed the ” Rice Mill Mafia ” of exploiting the country’s situation and attempting to bring down the Paddy Marketing Board which was revived by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

On a side note, the former state minister was positive he would be appointed to the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and once he is in the Ministry several key rice mills would be given life through the Mahaweli Program.

Businessman Dudley Sirisena, also involved in the rice business, blamed the rice stock shortage on politicians who exploit any crisis situation in the country, to make a quick buck.

He blamed the decision-makers for making public fabricated numbers to show the country has sufficient stocks at a time there are insufficient stocks in the country.

Sirisena requested authorities to focus on the matter at hand and understand the situation rather than cracking down on Large Mills.

Sri Lankan politicians raised the issue of a possible shortage of rice in the country, with Former State Minister Ajith P. Perera stressing rice stocks in their entirety are controlled by a handful of people and adding all of them are organizers for SLPP.

He portrayed the matter to be the result of government in-fighting.

Former Minister Udaya Gammanpila however denied the existence of a Rice Mill Mafia adding it only prevailed under the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government.

He said there is no reason to worry as SATHOSA is making purchases from the Paddy Marketing Board and the entire process is coordinated by the Sri Lanka Army.

P. Harisson, was the Former Minister of Agriculture when the Government of Good Governance was in power and he said the government which is bound to protect the 20 million people in the country, is more focused on protecting the Rice Mill Owners.

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