Sri Lanka to import 250,000 tons rice to overcome shortage


Sri Lanka is to import over 250,000 tons of rice to maintain a buffer stock sufficient for one and half months owing to a possible shortage of rice during the first quarter of next year, due to drought, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told reporters in Colombo on Thursday.
The Government has taken a decision to import rice through the private sector and provide bonded warehouse facilities for them as the country’s rice production is expected to drop during the drought period, he said..
While the private sector will be allowed to freely import rice, there won't be any imports by the  government unlike during the previous regime, he pointed out.
The Finance Ministry is considering tax concessions on rice imports to help mitigate the effects of the drought on the local market, a Treasury official said adding that the government will not call bids from the private sector for rice imports.


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