No short­age of rice in lo­cal mar­ket: Bathi­udeen

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - BY CHAT­U­RANGA PRADEEP

Min­is­ter of In­dus­try and Com­merce Rishad Bathi­udeen yes­ter­day said that there was no short­age of rice in the mar­ket as im­ported rice vol­umes had be­gun to flow into do­mes­tic re­tail and whole­sale chan­nels.

Min­is­ter Bathi­udeen ac­com­pa­nied by of­fi­cials of the Con­sumer Af­fairs Au­thor­ity (CAA) on Wed­nes­day (15) made a sur­prise visit to a pri­vately owned rice ware­house at the Fifth Cross Street in Colombo to see if claims of a rice scarcity were true.

Af­ter com­plet­ing the in­spec­tion the min­is­ter told the me­dia that im­ported rice was be­ing dis­trib­uted and rice short­ages are now end­ing. He there­fore as­sured the pub­lic that there was no rice short­age in the coun­try at the mo­ment.

“I vis­ited many shops and rice whole­salers in and around Colombo and they were all sell­ing rice at the stip­u­lated Max­i­mum Re­tail Prices (MRPS). Cer­tain out­lets were even sell­ing rice at be­low the mar­ket prices,” he said.

A shop in Colombo 5 was sell­ing Ponni Samba at Rs. 64 a kilo when the MRP for it is Rs. 80. Con­sumers have been re­quested to call our hot­line 1977 to com­plain about any in­stances when rice is sold at prices that are above the MRP,” he said.

“About 250 of­fi­cers be­long­ing to the CAA were en­gaged in check­ing rice prices across the is­land to­day. I re­quest the pub­lic to stop spread­ing false ru­mours about im­ported rice be­ing sold above the MRP. The rice that I am talk­ing about here is not the do­mes­ti­cally milled rice but im­ported rice on which we re­duced the im­port tax to a mere Rs 5,”he pointed out.

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