President calls for separate MRPs for local & imported rice

President calls for separate MRPs for local & imported rice

February 14, 2017   05:02 pm

- By Yusuf Ariff

President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized that there should not be room for shortage of rice in the market as well as,  an appropriate mechanism should be implemented promptly to provide rice to the public at subsidiary rates.

He made these remarks during a meeting with the rice mill owners and the rice importers , held at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo today (14).

The President further said that the tax reliefs given when importing rice into the country, should be given to the public at their maximum level.

“It is the responsibility of all, to provide rice at a concessionary rate to the public without leaving any room to emerge rice shortage in the market”, the President added.

The President directed officials to declare separate maximum retail prices for local and imported rice.

He also directed the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen to take actions to maintain 100000 metric tons of rice in government stores to be used at any required time.

The proposals for the solutions for the issues faced by the owners of rice mills and also the problems about the price of the rice were presented to the President during this meeting.

Ministers Ravi Karunanayake, Rishad Bathiudeen, P. Harrison and the Secretary to the President P. B. Abeykoon were among those joined this discussion.

The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) issued Maximum Retail Price (MRP) order for three varieties of rice on February 8, 2017. 

The order No 41 came into effect on the same day and was issued by CAA Chairman Hasitha Thilekeratne under Consumer Affairs Authority Act No 9 of 2003’s section 20(5) while the new prices affected both local and imported rice varieties. 

According to the February 8 order, MRPs for a kilo of Nadu rice is Rs 72, a kilo of Raw rice is Rs 70, and a kilo of Samba (excluding Keeri Samba and Suduru Samba) is Rs 80.  

It has been reported that complaints have been made by the general public as retailers have consistently ignored the control price that has been set over all varieties of rice. 

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