By Ariyaratne Ganegoda
With the reaping of the Maha season’s harvest the government will clamp down on the export of rice and paddy with a view to further stabilising their prices in the local market.
According to the Finance Ministry sources, by this contemplated measure the need to import rice at the expense of the country’s foreign exchange to meet the rising demand in the forthcoming festive season, will be obviated.
At the moment, the government is in possession of 2,004,000 metric tons of paddy with the Paddy Marketing Board and 60,000 metric tons of rice with the Divisional Secretariat.
In the meantime, rice millers, businessmen and farmers are in possession of 1,200,000 metric tons of paddy.
A Finance Ministry spokesman told Ceylon Today that the government has provided a sum of Rs 4,750 million to state banks to enable them to maintain paddy stocks within the country.