Feb 17, Colombo: There is no shortage of rice in the market as imported rice has begun feeding into domestic retail and wholesale channels, Sri Lanka's Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said.
Speaking to media after inspecting a wholesale rice warehouse in Colombo yesterday the Minister said "Imported rice is now distributed and rice shortages are now ending. There is no shortage of rice in the market as speculated."
Minister Bathiudeen accompanied by officials of the Consumer Affairs Authority, visited several rice traders and rice warehouses in the Colombo city yesterday to learn about the market status first-hand.
The Minister said he visited many shops and rice wholesalers in Colombo and all of them are selling rice at the given Maximum Retail Prices (MRPs), and certain places are selling competitively at even lower prices.
Minister Bathiudeen said some errant traders are artificially creating a rice shortage to raise the prices and requested the consumers to call the hotline at 1977 to complain any errant rice sales anywhere from Sri Lanka.
He said 250 Consumer Affairs Authority investigators are raiding such shops across the island and strict legal action will be taken against the traders who are hoarding rice and creating an artificial shortage. He asked the people to refrain from spreading false info and rumors about a shortage when there is none.
The Consumer Affairs Authority recently gazetted the MRPs for three rice varieties -Nadu, Raw Rice and Samba. The MRPs were set at Rs 72 for a kilo of Nadu, Rs 70 for a kilo of Raw and Rs 80 for a kilo of Samba (excluding Keeri Samba and Suduru Samba).