May 21, Colombo: There is enough paddy stocks in the country until the Yala season paddy harvest and therefore, there is no need to import rice, Roshan Ranasinghe former SLFP parliamentarian of Polonnaruwa District said today.
He said that information has been collected by the Government Intelligence units and District Secretariats and there are about 1.9 - 2 million kilos of paddy stocks in Polonnaruwa district alone.
Mr. Roshan Ranasinghe revealed this at a press conference held at Polonnaruwa today (21st).
He said it is a crime to create an artificial rice shortage impacting the consumer at this time and this is a game played by paddy mafias every day. He also requested the large scale mill owners not to just think of their personal wealth in the face of people’s suffering.
Speaking further, the former MP said the government has fixed a guaranteed price for paddy to safeguard the farmer and a control price for rice has been fixed to safeguard the consumer.
“The price of paddy kilo in private sector is Rs. 55 now. The paddy is bought at Rs. 55 in order to provide rice at Rs. 90 a kilo. Some rice mill owners are trying to create an artificial shortage of rice. If the mill owners have decided a higher wholesale price, the traders should report to the Consumer Affairs Authority. It is a crime to hit the stomach of the consumer. The government will not hesitate to hand over the stocks of paddy that the large scale mill owners are hiding. The main staple food of the people in this country is rice. Don’t play games with it. There is no need for the government to protect the mill owners or rice mafia. There is no need to import rice at this time.
The country has sufficient stocks of paddy until the Yala season harvest is reaped. Only a few sells rice at more than Rs.90 a kilo. This is a game made by the Mafia. The President and the Prime Minister have taken steps to eliminate the rice mafia.”