Rs.100,000 fine for traders selling rice above Gazetted prices – Minister

Mahindananda Aluthgamage

The Government has taken a firm decision to fine Rs.100,000 from traders selling rice above the stipulated prices mentioned by the Government effective from July 1.

Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the Gazette notification indicating the price of each variety of rice has already been issued. Accordingly a kilo of Samba and Kekulu varieties should be sold at Rs.98.00 each while a kilo of Nadu rice should be sold at Rs. 96.00 each.

He said the Government was compelled to increase the earlier fine from Rs.2,500 to Rs.100,000 following consumers’ complaints that many traders are violating Government regulations and selling rice at exorbitant prices.

However, a research has indicated that no super markets and reputed rice dealers in the country had increased the prices of rice to make profits since they always need to maintain a close business rapport with customers.

Responding to several remarks made by people over a possible shortage of rice in the country, Minister Aluthgamage said that nobody should panic over it and he denied all allegations.

“There will be no any shortage of rice since sufficient stocks that were purchased during the Maha season are currently available in the country,” he said.

The Minister also mentioned that four leading rice mill owners in the country are solely responsible for creating this rice shortage and stringent measures have already been taken to stop such happening in the future.

(Source: Daily News – By Ananda Kannangara)

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