Maximum retail price for rice gazetted Legal action against rice mafia assured
Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena said that stern action would be taken against businessmen who sell rice in excess of the maximum retail price (MRP) imposed on rice by gazette effective from Wednesday.
Speaking to the media Minister Gunawardena yesterday stressed that all businessmen should act according to the guidelines given by the government, otherwise legal actions will be taken against unscrupulous traders who sell rice exceeding the MRP.
“Considering this current prevailing situation in the country we discussed with all rice mill owners and agreed to setting up a maximum retail price of Rs.100 for rice, he said.
Following that the Consumer Affairs Authority had issued a gazette notification setting a maximum retail price for producers and millers to offer for sale or display varieties of rice.
According to the gazette notification white and red samba and white and red raw (Kekulu) samba should be sold at Rs. 94 while white and red nadu and white and red raw (Kekulu) nadu should be sold at Rs. 92 and White and red raw (Kekulu) nadu should be sold at Rs. 89.
“Former minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s policy totally contradicted my policies.There was no issue from the community during his regime, because he gave an opportunity to import everything from abroad. I also can follow these policies and I had an opportunity to sell imported rice for Rs. 80 like the former regime. But we are trying to protect the farmers according to the policy manifesto ‘Prosperity Vision’ of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa aiming to locally produce agricultural products and to provide a stable income to the farmers. However, some traders are not following these agreed terms and selling the rice exceeding the MRP. Businessmen should follow government guidelines and should toe to the government line. Business has high risk, if it is a loss or profit businessmen should bear it,” he added.
He said that the government had prepared a special programme for next year and the Food Commissioner was instructed to maintain a buffer stock of food. According to the programme every farmer must give a portion of his harvest to the government after next year’s harvest. “If the fertilizer subsidy is given to them from the public’s tax money, it should be their duty to hand in a portion of their harvest to the government,” he said.