Rice price controls removed to ensure supply | Daily News

Rice price controls removed to ensure supply

Gazette on maximum prices cancelled

The Cabinet of Ministers has decided to remove the price control imposed on rice and import a buffer stock to prevent any possible shortage, Cabinet Spokesman and Mass Media Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said.

Addressing the media yesterday at the Government Information Department, Minister Alahapperuma said that the Gazette notification imposing a maximum wholesale and retail price on rice has been cancelled.

The Cabinet of Ministers has decided to import up to 100,000 MT of rice to prevent any ‘artificial shortage’ of rice in the market.

He said the Government has decided not to intervene in the market prices of rice at this point. The Minister however pointed out that the guaranteed price for paddy would not change and that the Government would intervene if the mill owners buy paddy below the guaranteed price.

In the meantime, the Cabinet on Monday also decided to disburse US$ 50 million through the Central Bank to get the container loads of imported essential items stuck at the Colombo Port released, Co-operative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna said.

Joining the Cabinet press briefing yesterday, he pointed out that about 800 container loads of imported items were lying uncleared at the Port due to the US Dollar shortage in the country. He observed that the required sum of foreign currency would be issued shortly to the importers and they would be able to clear their stocks immediately, adding that the Ports Authority will also extend its support in that regard.

At the same time, the Cabinet on Monday decided not to increase the prices of milk powder, wheat flour, domestic LP Gas and cement. Following the Cost of Living Subcommittee Meeting, a final decision on the price hikes was referred to the Cabinet.

Responding to a question by a journalist with regard to former Prime Minister and UNP Leader MP Ranil Wickremesinghe comment on the alleged lack of funds to purchase fuel, Co-Cabinet Spokesman Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana assured that there would be no fuel shortage in the country.

“The Government has the necessary financial provisions to import fuel. Therefore, the public should not panic about a fuel shortage,” he commented. 

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