Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena claims a kilogram of Samba rice will be sold for Rs.128 and a kilogram of Nadu and Raw rice for Rs.105 through all Sathosa outlets until the end of this year.
Minister Gunawardena said even if prices of rice increase in the world market, shipping charges go up, or any other calamity, the three types of rice will be made available for the same prices through Sathosa outlets until the end of this year.
Speaking during a media briefing held at the Ministry of Trade yesterday, Minister Gunawardena said he has pledged to defeat the rice mafia which was determined to increase the price of a kilogram of rice to Rs.300.
The Minister said the rice mafia was focused on steadily increasing the prices until the Sinhala and Tamil New Year period.
Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena said the present administration is among the governments that had imported the least number of kilograms of rice.
He said the present government has only imported 24,000 MT of rice once and on another occasion sanctioned the importation of 16,000 MT of rice.
The Minister said the rice mafia was keen to create an artificial shortage and therefore they took a strategic decision to import rice.
Minister Gunawardena said the rice stocks were imported since a kilogram of rice was sold for Rs.240 to Rs.250 at times.
He said now the prices have stabilised and the rates will remain the same at Sathosa outlets until the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the Trade Minister noted that residents of areas that do not have Sathosa outlets can call the 1998 hotline to submit their orders which will be delivered to their homes.
Minister Bandula Gunawardena also pledged that the three types of rice would be distributed to cooperative outlets island-wide during the festive season as well.
He said if cooperative outlets are willing to sell at the same rates as Sathosa outlets, then the Ministry is willing to release stocks to them as well.