The Government has decided to impose a maximum retail price for the Samba and Nadu varieties of rice.
The decision was made after reviewing the prevailing rice prices in the market.
Accordingly, imported Samba should be sold at a maximum price of Rs. 80 per kilogramme while imported Nadu should be sold at Rs. 70 per kilogramme.
The new prices came into effect from midnight yesterday.
The decision was made by the Cabinet Subcommittee on the Cost of Living when it met at the Ministry of Finance last afternoon.
The Cabinet Subcommittee on the Cost of Living comprises Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama, Rural Economic Affairs Minister P. Harrison, Industry and Commerce Minister Richard Bathiudeen, Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and Special Projects Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama.
Addressing the media, Special Projects Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said that on the advice of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a maximum price was imposed for imported Samba and Nadu with the intention of providing instant relief to the public.
Minister Amunugama also said that stern action would be taken against unscrupulous traders who attempted to sell these varieties of rice at exorbitant prices.
In addition, the committee decided during the meeting to mill 10,000 metric tonnes of paddy being stored by the paddy marketing board and sell it at Sathosa outlets. The project is expected to be launched within this week.
The Government reduced duty on three varieties of imported rice - Nadu, Brown Raw Rice and Samba - on two previous occasions in order to decrease the prices in the market.