Cabinet this week approved the State Trading Corporation (STC) and Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) to import 6,000 metric tons of Basmati rice annually under the provision of the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Complaints have been received regarding various irregularities in the importation of rice, Cabinet Co-Spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said, pointing out that the same facility had been available to private sector. The decision by the Cabinet follows a proposal made by Trade Minister and will see STC and CWE import Basmati rice of high quality, he added.
“The idea is to import Basmati rice for those who seek it, thereby reducing the competition for local rice variants,” Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said, responding to a question.
Rambukella claimed that paddy farmers were not getting a high price for their crops.