Sri Lanka rice export controls not a blanket ban: minister

July 29, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s fledgling rice exporters could still ship rice under some restrictions, including a minimum price and there was no blanket ban, a minister said. The notice said ‘specific varieties of rice” targeted at export markets could be shipped with export licenses.

Sri Lanka’s state can restrict citizens from importing or exporting items by gazette notification without allowing for a parliamentary or public debate for citizens to protest under the country’s Export and Import Control Act of 1969.

Analysts say the Act is one of a series of enacted by the legislature after gaining self determination from British rule to restrict economic freedoms of citizens. In India the system was known as the ‘license Raj’, helping make the country a laggard in Asia.

The world saw severe trade restrictions from the late 1960s as the US printed money amid to fight the Vietnam War and fund President Nixon’s fiscal excesses, triggering cracks in the Bretton Woods system of soft-pegs.

The Bretton Woods system of soft pegs collapsed in 1971 as Nixon closed the gold window. He also placed export controls as prices of basic foods, including edible oils shot up