United Rice Mill Owners Association warns kilo of rice will be Rs. 300 by festive season

Monday, 28 March 2022 03:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The United Rice Mill Owners Association (URMOA) yesterday warned that the rice kilogram may increase up to Rs.  300 during the festive season, while there is a risk of queues forming in future.

“Around 95% of small and medium scale rice mill owners in the country have closed at present,” URMOA Chairman Muditha Perera said.

He claimed the public may have to purchase rice in small packets after August, instead of the 5 kg and 10 kg sacks.

He questioned Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage on whether rice imported from India will not affect people’s health, as India uses 25% more chemical fertiliser than Sri Lanka.

Perera said China uses 200% more chemical fertiliser for agriculture, in comparison to Sri Lanka.

He also said the price of a kilogram of local rice was at Rs. 120 when the Government commenced the importation of rice, adding at present the price has increased to Rs. 200.

Perera claimed if the imported rice stocks were distributed across the country in a stringent manner, the price of locally produced rice will not increase.

He charged affiliates of the Government engaged in a racket involving imported rice, adding they directed containers carrying imported rice to Polonnaruwa and sold it for around Rs. 180, whilst claiming it was produced locally.