The first batch of low priced rice out of the huge 100000 MT Indian rice tranche has been offloaded and is now moving within Sri Lankan retail market, ending any supply fears.
Meanwhile, the open international tender call for 200,000 MT rice in three varieties, also successfully closed in Colombo last week.
By the weekend of October 4-5, a total of 20,000 MT tranche of parboiled ‘nadu’ rice sent by an Indian private sector supplier to the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) of Sri Lanka have been offloaded at Port of Colombo and been distributed to CWE warehouses. The value of the received 20000 MT rice stock is US $ 8.9 Mn (SL Rs 1.36 Bn). This rice stock is now being re-distributed from CWE warehouses to Lanka Sathosa outlets to be sold at only Rs 74 per kilo. Any consumer purchasing more than 25 kilos of this rice from Lanka Sathosa can buy them even lower-only Rs 73 per kilo.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen addressing a press briefing on 1 November in Colombo, highlighting his efforts to end rice supply shortages through yet another global tender call, said: “Our international tender to import 200,000 MT rice closed yesterday 31 October. Rice samples submitted with tender bids are being forwarded to ITI for lab tests.”
The latest tender is, unlike previous “Government to Government” (G2G) tenders, a “Sri Lanka government to local and international private sector” call. A total of 34 local and international private sector suppliers have quoted for the 200,000 MT tender, that closed on 31 October and announced initially on 19 October. The Ministry has forwarded all the submitted quotes to the Cabinet Appointed High Powered Tender Board which will compare prices of these international and local private sector suppliers with “government to government” prices quoted in previous G2G tender calls, before making final selections.
The international tender was floated by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on the directions of government’s Cost of Living Committee.
The Cabinet Appointed High Powered Tender Board is expected to pick the qualifying suppliers for this 200,000 MT international tender by this Friday 10 October. Private sector suppliers from Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, India, and Vietnam quoted. Several Sri Lankan suppliers too submitted their bids in this 200,000 MT total which consists of three varieties-90000 MT Parboiled Nadu rice, 60000 MT Samba (Parboiled) rice and 50000 MT White Raw rice.