Cabinet greenlight for Paddy purchase

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Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera said on the advice of the sub-committee appointed by the Paddy Marketing Board, the Cabinet has approved the purchase of paddy from today (17).

Addressing a media briefing yesterday (16), the Minister said he presented a Cabinet paper, regarding paddy purchasing on Monday (15), to give a higher price for the farmers.

Accordingly, arrangements have been made to buy a kilo of Nadu rice at Rs 120, a kilo of Samba rice at Rs 125, and a kilo of Keeri Samba rice at Rs 130, Amaraweera said.

The PMB will intervene to provide the maximum price for the farmers and under the first phase of the programme it is expected to purchase 30,000 MT of paddy spending Rs 2 billion.

If necessary, the government is ready to intervene and buy more stocks of paddy. More than 500,000 MT of rice has been imported from January to July this year, the Minister noted.

Also, the Minister said arrangements have been made to prepare rice from the paddy stocks purchased by the PMB and sell it at a minimum possible price to the consumers.

Accordingly, from yesterday (16) every kilo of rice sold by the PMB will be reduced by Rs 5 and if it is necessary, steps will be taken to reduce the price further considering the market conditions, he said.

BY Amra Liyakath