Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
12 Mar, 2021 | 7:45 am
COLOMBO (News 1st): The government is prepared to import rice if the prices of rice in the local market are not reduced, Minister of Trade, Dr. Bandula Gunawardana told News 1st.
The Minister made this statement when inquired by News First, regarding the shortage of rice in the local market and the hike in the prices of rice, at present.
“With the aim of providing the best possible benefit for farmers, the government imposed a set a stipulated price of Rs. 50 per kilo of Nadu rice and Rs. 52 per kilo of Samba rice; thereby, allowing the sale of rice at prices below Rs. 100 per kilo in the local market,” Dr. Bandula Gunawardana, the Minister of Trade said on Friday (Mar. 12).
However, whilst being aware of the matter, traders are purchasing paddy at higher prices resulting in losses, the Minister of Trade pointed out.
“In the event, traders create an artificial shortage of rice in the local market by hoarding stocks of paddy instead of releasing it to the market, I’m prepared to import 100,000 metric tonnes with the permission of the President,” Minister Bandula Gunawardana reiterated.
Accordingly, steps will be taken to sell 1 kilogram of rice, at a price lower than Rs. 100 through Sathosa outlets, Minister Gunawardana further noted.
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