The Government has decided to hand over the importation of Basmati rice to ‘Sathosa’ and ‘Lak Sathosa’, Environment Minister Mahinda Amarawera said.
Responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference at his Ministry yesterday, he said this decision was taken as there were irregularities in the previous method of importing Basmati rice.
“The decision to import over 5,000 metric tons of Basmati rice was not new, as it has been done every year. We don’t produce Basmati rice variety in the country, except for a small quantity cultivated by a few farmers. However, this rice variety is being used by tourist hotels and other food processing institutes. To meet this demand, several importers were assigned to import the necessary stocks previously, but irregularities such as obtaining commissions had been reported by way of that process. Accordingly, Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena presented a Cabinet paper to hand over the importation of Basmati rice to ‘Sathosa’ and ‘Lak Sathosa’. It is a good move. However, this message was not properly communicated to the public,” he explained.
He added that certain groups were criticising the progressive decisions of the incumbent Government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa also giving false interpretations to them.