Colombo, Sri Lanka has decided to import 400,000 metric tonnes of rice from India and Myanmar in a bid to stabilise the price of rice in the local market, the official media on Tuesday quoted a senior official as saying. “Moves are underway by the Trade Ministry to import 300,000 metric tonnes of rice from India and 100,000 metric tonnes from Myanmar until May,” Trade Ministry’s Additional Secretary Gilma Dahanayake told state-run Daily News newspaper.
The ministry made this decision to help the consumers who are continuously forced to buy rice at higher prices in the market due to cartel tactics by several large rice millers, the report said.
The rice supplies will be imported in tranches of 20,000 metric tonnes. They will be released to the market on a regular basis, the report said as the island nation faced a severe forex crisis.
“Four million metric tonnes of paddy are required to meet this need. A tonne of rice shipped is expected to cost USD 445 million.The Central Bank has been requested by the Trade Ministry to issue foreign exchange to meet the requirement of
envisioned rice import,” the report said. PTI