Price controls on rice removed
By Thameenah Razeek
The Cabinet of Ministers who met last night (27) agreed to remove the price controls imposed on rice and thereby annulling the previously issued Gazette Notification on maximum retail and wholesale prices of rice. The Cabinet also decided to import 100,000 metric tonnes of rice to maintain a buffer stock, in a bid to prevent any impending artificial shortage created in the rice market.
According to sources, the Cabinet also approved removing maximum price imposed on paddy purchasing from farmers. Meanwhile, it was also decided to release necessary funds from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka today to pay Customs and release all essential food containers currently being held at Colombo Port. Cabinet, however, did not take a decision on revising prices of milk powder, domestic LP gas, wheat flour, and other important commodities.
These decisions were reached after reviewing the Cabinet Sub Committee on Cost of Living, which was chaired by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The proposals being reviewed included increasing the prices of milk powder, domestic LP gas, and one kilogram of wheat flour, which were proposed to be raised by Rs 200, Rs 550, and Rs 10, respectively. Importers of milk powder have asked the Government to raise the MRP of one kilogram of imported milk powder by Rs 350.