A programme is due to commence this weekend to sell a kilogram of certain varieties of rice for less than Rs.100 through Sathosa outlets.
Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardana said the Ministries of Agriculture and Trade commenced a joint programme to ensure farmers receive the government certified price, and consumers will be able to purchase a kilogram of rice at less than Rs.100.
Speaking to media, the Trade Minister said as part of the programme, a kilogram of red raw rice will be sold at a retail price of Rs.88 at all Sathosa outlets from this weekend.
He said the certified price is Rs.93, adding however it will be sold at Rs.88 at Sathosa outlets. Minister Gunawardana further said by the weekend a kilogram of white raw rice will be sold at Rs.92, and a kilogram of Nadu rice at Rs.93.
He stated several more steps need to be taken to reduce the price of rice methodically, one of which is obtaining Cabinet approval for the maximum retail price of rice.
The Trade Minister further said an amendment to the Consumer Protection Act has been sent to the Attorney General to increase the fine imposed on traders selling rice at higher prices to Rs.100,000.
He added after the amendment is passed in Parliament, it will be strictly enforced.
Minister Gunawardana noted he also believes a stock of 100,000MT of rice must be retained as a safety stock.