A concessionary loan scheme will be introduced from today (March 27) to revive the small and medium scale rice mills which have been closed down for the past few years.
This is a part of the Government's 100-Day programme. Addressing the media-briefing held in Food Security Ministry premises yesterday, Food Security Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera said that a concessionary loan facility will be provided to small and medium scale rice mill owners through the Bank of Ceylon and the Peoples Bank under the supervision of the Central Bank.
The aim of this move is to stabilize rice prices during the festive season by revitalizing small and medium scale rice mills across the country enabling them to supply sufficient rice stocks to meet the local demand.
He said that he has received information about several large scale rice mill owners engaging in creating a rice shortage in the market to increase the prices artificially targeting the festive season.
They have created a monopoly over the market and kept prices artificially high by manipulating supply and demand. But after revitalizing the small and medium scale mill owners, any shortage in the market will be addressed by supplying sufficient rice stocks to the market. The competition created by this move will help to bring down rice prices in the market as well, he said.