The cabinet subcommittee on cost of living has decided to partner with the private sector to import rice to the country. In accordance with their decision a total of 100,000 metric tons of rice will be imported.
Speaking to the media, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera stated that the import tax on rice has been reduced to 25 cents. He also stated that the import of wheat flour has been opened to Sri Lanka and it will be enhanced by the reduction of its CESS levy by Rs.10.
Minister Amaraweera stated that the committee will take steps to prevent a shortage of rice in the country. Accordingly, he stated that the price of 1kg of imported naadu rice has been reduced to Rs.75, white rice to Rs.60 and Ponni samba to a range between Rs.72-75.
It was also stated that the maximum retail price for packaged wheat flour has been removed.
A further reduction in price for essential goods will also be announced in the near future.
It was further stated that due to the prevailing drought, residents of affected provinces will be provided with a Rs.5000 hamper of essential goods. It was decided by the cabinet committee to distribute these hampers as Rs.2500 bundles on a bi-weekly basis.
Minister Amaraweera went on to state that, as a result of the import of rice to the country the prices for rice may further plummet in the near future.