On the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Controller of Import and Export has banned the exportation of paddy / rice until the 2012 /13 Maha production is harvested, states the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
This decision was taken to ensure country will have adequate rice stock at affordable prices till Maha production is available for consumption, the Ministry further said.
At present, Government commands the rice stock of 204,260 MTs with Paddy Marketing Board and further 59,786 MTs with District Secretariats paddy purchasing arrangements. Total money invested by the Government on the present paddy stock is Rs. 4,115 Mn. In addition, the Government has also facilitated state banks to grant Rs. 4,750 Mn to build up paddy stocks in the country.
The estimated stock of paddy and rice with the private sector rice millers and traders as well as farmers is around 1,200,000 MTs.
The export ban of paddy and rice will ensure more than required rice supply for the balance period at stable prices at current level stabilizing the Cost of Living as well. This ban will ensure not only food security is guaranteed but also that the country will not require to import rice by spending foreign exchange during the year end season.
The rice verities exclusively process for the purpose of well-targeted export markets will be issued special permits by Import and Export Controller to ensure such exports are not affected by this ban.