As the month of February came to a close, Sri Lanka’s apex Consumer Protector the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) reported 2064 monthly raids on errant rice sellers across the country. In the 48 hours ending 27 February, 42100 Kg rice hoarded by errant sellers were also netted.
“Rice sellers are also required to obey Maximum Retail Prices imposed by CAA” stressed the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 28 February. Minister Bathiudeen was in discussion with his top officials on February 28 on the latest raids by the CAA under him.
In the 48 hours ending midnight of February 27, CAA has netted 42,100 kilos of hoarded rice in the Pettah market. These volumes were stacked in 25 kg bags and hoarded by three different sellers/businesses in Pettah market. Also 87 errant sellers across the country who violated rice MRPs were netted.
“I have instructed CAA to immediately seal any rice found to be hoarded. These 42100 kg rice has now been sealed by CAA” said Minister Bathiudeen.
As of 27 February, 2064 successful rice raids have also been conducted by the CAA (for month of February) with 1376 cases being filed (monthly).
“Rice sellers are also required to obey Maximum Retail Prices imposed by CAA, if the sold rice varieties are one of the gazetted varieties. Errant sellers who sell above the MRPs are violating the law. Hoarding of these varieties is also a violation and affects our consumers” stressed Minister Bathiudeen.
By order No 42 issued on 17 February and gazetted on 17 February midnight by CAA Chairman under Consumer Affairs Authority Act No 9 of 2003’s section 20(5), MRPs were introduced for imported and domestically milled rice (of three varieties). Accordingly, MRPs for Nadu, Raw Rice and Samba was set as; MRP of a kilo of imported Nadu rice is Rs 72, locally milled Nadu Rs 80, a kilo of imported Raw (Kekulu) rice is Rs 70, locally milled Raw Rs 78, and a kilo of imported Samba (excluding Keeri Samba and Suduru Samba) is Rs 80, and locally milled Samba (excluding Keeri Samba and Suduru Samba) is Rs 90 per kilo.
250 officers of CAA are now continuously monitoring rice sales situation across the country.
Consumers are invited to alert and complain to CAA about errant traders on hotline 1977 or even CAA direct line 117755481-3. (Media Release)