Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
Rice: a political football
Finally, it has dawned on the authorities that tinkering won’t work controlling the prices of essential items. Price of rice has been made into a political football since 1956 and continues to be so till now. Generations have paid the price for the folly of politicians using rice as a vote catcher. Demand and Supply theory and price mechanism enunciated in the 18th century still works.
We have to appreciate the bold decision taken by the Government to do away with the price control of rice. Demand and supply will now come into play and find an equilibrium price acceptable to the farmer, miller and the consumer. We can now do away with the fertilizer subsidy as the farmers get a better price for paddy and shift the subsidy only to the needy consumer. Hope the Government will do the same with Dollar- Rupee exchange rate and allow the market forces to play.
Then the presently over valued Rupee will find its real value wiping out the blackmarket discouraging imports and encouraging exports. Hope the Government will not wait till it explodes like the price of rice.