There will be no rice shortage during festive season, Minister assures

There will be no rice shortage during festive season, Minister assures

Rishad Bathiudeen

Sri Lanka’ Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said the imported rice will be released to the markets to ensure that there will be no rice shortage during the festive season.

He assured that there is could not be any shortage as imported rice has already been released to the market.

“We are making every effort to ensure that there will be no shortages for the consumer,” said the Minister during discussions with his top officials at the Ministry earlier.

The 17,000 Metric Tons (MT) of the 100,000 MT rice consignment ordered from an Indian private supplier have been received in Colombo in the last few days and cleared by Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) by 30 October.

This is part of the 70,000 MT parboiled/nadu rice and 30,000 MT samba rice ordered from the Indian private supplier. The rest 53,000 MT of parboiled / nadu is expected to arrive in Colombo by mid-November.

Of 100,000 MT from India 30,000 MT are samba rice, and this consignment is expected in Colombo between mid-November to end-November.

With the addition of 100,000 MT tranche from the international tender that closes on 31 October (i.e 100,000 MT from international tender expected to arrive by end of November and another 100,000 MT by end of December), by end-November a huge 200,000 MT of imported rice, in many categories will be freely available in the local markets at low prices.

The international rice tender recently floated by Sri Lanka for global procurement will close at 2 pm on 31 October.

Under the directions of the government’s Cost of Living Committee (CoLC) announced on 13 October that Sri Lanka will import 500,000 MT rice to overcome domestic supply shortages as a result of fall in paddy supplies for three straight seasons. The aim of CoLC and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is to give the Lankan consumers with lowest prices and a steady supply.

Lanka Sathosa sells the Indian nadu at Rs 74 per kilo and samba at present, at only Rs 80 per kilo.