As the ‘festival season’ demand surged, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen has instructed his officials to take immediate action to release freshly milled rice to the market, to strengthen the rice supply.
“We want to act fast on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremeshinghe’s directive. The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) will take action against errant rice sellers,” said Bathiudeen.
He also instructed his officials to import 10,000 tonnes of rice. He also instructed them to buy 20,000 M-tonnes of paddy (both White rice and Nadu) from the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) immediately, starting 19th December.
He then instructed Cooperatives Wholesale Establishment (CWE) under his ministry to make arrangements to mill them at its earliest. The CWE started paddy purchase from PMB on December 19, and thereafter started releasing this paddy to both government and private sector millers for processing. These freshly-milled rice from millers will then be released to Lanka Sathosa, thereby successfully stalling any price increases. The freshly-milled rice will be sold by Lanka Sathosa at a competitive price of Rs 78 per kilo.