Paddy purchasing is to continue despite reaching the previously decided quota according to officials of the Paddy Marketing Board. According to the Director of the Paddy Marketing Board M.B Dissanayake the board will most likely reach its initial purchase quota of 120,000 Metric Tons of Paddy on Saturday (September 12). A total 110,000 Metric Tons of Paddy had been purchased by the Paddy Marketing Board on Friday (September 11).
“We will continue to purchase beyond the previously decided quota despite our warehouses reaching the maximum storage capacity due to being instructed by the Cabinet” he said adding that purchasing will continue for another week’s time in areas other than Polonnaruwa, Hamabantota and Mannar districts. According to him the board is currently looking in to temporarily obtaining private warehouses as well to store the excess quota of paddy obtained.
On Thursday (September 10) President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a Cabinet sub-committee to streamline the purchasing of paddy. Six ministers including Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Agriculture Duminda Dissanayake, and Minister of Rural Economic Affairs P. Harrison have been appointed to the committee.
Minister of Rural Economic Affairs P. Harrison was reported as saying that an additional 2000 million rupees has been allocated for the purchasing of paddy by the government. The government previously had allocated 6,000 million rupees for the purpose.