Feb 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka's consumer protection agency, Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) today issued Maximum Retail Price (MRP) order for three varieties of rice to arrest escalating prices in the domestic rice market while the minister in-charge issued a stern warning to errant traders across the country.
The MRP order is effective February 8th - the same date as issued-and was sent to the Government Printer to be gazetted on the same day, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said.
"The CAA will act on errant traders who sell at higher prices," said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen during his meeting with top officials of CAA on Tuesday.
"The MRPs announced by Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) have to be followed. The CAA will act on errant traders who sell at higher prices. We are also working with the Customs to obtain details of rice importers and imported volumes," said Minister Bathiudeen.
He added that the CAA will set up a team of officials to investigate as to whether these imported rice quantities have been released to the market.
"Importers who hoard rice stocks will be considered errant and legal measures will be taken against them," the Minister warned.
Another team of investigators will be set up to investigate and monitor rice quantities milled by the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB).
The order No 41 dated February 8, comes into effect on the same day and is issued by CAA Chairman Hasitha Thilakeratne under Consumer Affairs Authority Act No 9 of 2003ís section 20(5). The new rice prices will be effective on both local and imported rice varieties.
According to the order, MRPs for Nadu, Raw Rice, and Samba will become effective from 8 February. Accordingly, MRP of 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.
Consumers are invited to alert and complain to CAA about errant traders on hotline 1977 or even CAA direct line 117755481-3.