Ending the country’s long wait, fresh rice shipments from India began finally arriving in state owned warehouses in Sri Lanka on 24 October.
38 rice container trucks, a batch among many such crews lined up awaiting transfer of their rice cargoes to the large McCallum warehouses of Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE/SATHOSA) at DR Wijewardene Rd, Colombo 1 on 24 October.
These stocks are from the first 11000 MT (out of 100,000 MT) raw Nadu parboiled rice arriving from India and have been brought to Colombo Port by such container vessels as Vladivostock 12 and Charles Schultz that berthed beginning mid-October.
So far 11000 MT of Nadu (parboiled) rice from an Indian private supplier, first shipments from the 100,000 MT rice from India (out of 500,000 MT to be imported from many destinations) have been offloaded at Colombo Port and now being transferred to CWE warehouses. Close to 3000 MT of such rice bags from Colombo port have entered CWE’s McCallum warehouses.
They arrivals are a result of “Sri Lanka government to overseas private sector” purchase. The rice bags (each packing 50 Kg rice) are already printed with CWE logo back in India before entering them to containers. These stocks from CWE warehouses will next be delivered to Lanka Sathosa outlets across the country to be sold at no more than Rs 74 per kilo to consumers.
Previously Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen under whom both CWE and Lanka Sathosa functions said that he is making every effort to ensure no shortages would occur. “Under the directions of the government’s Cost of Living Committee (CoLC) we announced on 13 October that we will import 500,000 MT rice. The aim of CoLC is to support our consumers with lowest prices and give steady supplies” said Minister Bathiudeen last week during his discussions at the Ministry.
An equal MT volume of Nadu rice stocks are also expected from the Indian supplier before the end of this month thereby resulting in steady domestic supplies continuously.
(PRESS COMMUNIQUE–MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY & COMMERCE)