Large-scale rice mill owners currently are creating an organised rice shortage in the market, divulged President of the United Rice Producers’ Association Mudith Perera, speaking to a briefing yesterday (12).
“Go to Polonnaruwa right now, and you will see that there are 75-100 lorries belonging to these large-scale rice mill owners queuing up at fuel stations every day. However, despite these vehicles being refilled at this rate, rice is not transported meeting the same. We are saying this with responsibility. They are deliberately creating a rice shortage in the market, according to a plan. Its purpose is to create a shortage of rice in the country with the intention of selling rice made of paddy purchased for Rs. 100 during the last season and for Rs. 60 – 70 the season before for higher prices. These large-scale mill owners currently have nearly 500,000 metric tonnes of paddy. The value of that stock is approximately Rs. 50 billion. Using that, rice can be produced for exactly 12 more months. The government knows about this, but will not take any action,” he alleged.
Therefore, declaring a maximum retail price for local rice serves no purpose, for a maximum retail price should be declared for imported rice as well, the Union Chief emphasised.