Consumers could buy Nadu and Kekulu rice at Rs. 60.00 from Lak Sathosa and co-operative outlets countrywide and the government was trying to help the public servants to get rice at the same price through their welfare societies in their respective institutions, Minister of Trade Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs Bandula Gunawardana told The Island yesterday (9).
The problem of high rice prices prevailed mainly in the Western Province. The government supplied a kilo of rice at Rs. 57.00 to cooperatives to be sold with a small mark-up of three rupees per kilo, he said.
The government was also negotiating with the Japanese government to purchase another 200,000 metric tons of rice to be stored as a buffer stock.
The Trade Ministry was taking all measures to protect the consumers and provide goods at reasonable prices, Gunawardana said.
The initial discussions for obtaining this stock of rice from Japan was made at the FAO summit by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who discussed the world food problems with the Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe, who also attended the summit held in Rome recently.