Sri Lanka to import rice from neighbouring countries

Sri Lanka is to look at importing rice from neighbouring countries, the Government information department said today.

The cabinet has noted that the Ministry of Rural Economic Affairs has taken steps to issue 90,958 MT of paddy of the Paddy Marketing Board in district level to private paddy mill owners and Lanka Sathosa to be processed into rice.

It further considered that though Lanka Sathosa has already processed the paddy and a kilogram of rice is being traded through Sathosa outlets at Rs. 76/-, private mill owners have still not issued them to the market.

The cabinet has decided to appoint a cabinet subcommittee to issue the rest of the stocks in a suitable method and to take action against mill owners who have failed to issue rice stocks to the market.

The cabinet has also taken note that the Government of Indonesia will donate 10,000 MT of rice to Sri Lanka on a request made by President Maithripala Sirisena and it will arrive in Sri Lanka soon.

It also paid attention to the need of importing rice from neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam unless the price of rice is reduced. (Colombo Gazette)