An official said yesterday that the Cabinet has approved the release of fresh rice stocks via Sathosa to keep prices stable ahead of the April New Year festival season.
Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Cabinet Co-Spokesman, said at the weekly Cabinet briefing that the government was prepared to import rice to meet any market shortages.
Prices of essential items such as rice normally rise around the April festival season, but Dr. Pathirana admitted that this had deteriorated due to the pandemic’s effects.
“Commodity prices are increasing around the world. This is partly because countries like India have seen their harvests fall due to the pandemic and have also limited their food exported due to the same reason. As a result we are seeing prices of items such as green gram and other pulses increase significantly in the local market. However, the Government is attempting to address this situation,” he said.
The Paddy Marketing Board will release stocks to be milled and made available via State-run Sathosa outlets to provide consumers will lower priced rice, he said.