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DateLine Monday, 21 April 2008

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Traders fall in line while raids continue

COLOMBO: The raids against hoarders of rice continued during the weekend with several errant traders nabbed by the Authorities, since the Government stipulated prices for several varieties of rice from last Friday.

In a new development, the Authorities have decided to empower Government Agents to monitor the activities of traders in the out stations, sources said. The Consumer Affairs Authority is also expected to intensify raids from today against traders who fail to comply with the price ceiling and if necessary Police assistance will be sought.

Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs there would be no shortage of rice in the country with the Maha harvest providing two million tonnes of harvested paddy. Another one million tonnes of imported rice is also expected to be released to the market during next week which would a further boost to stabilise prices, sources said.

Also the rice mills which put up shutters for the Avurudu celebrations are expected to commence normal work from today onwards. Meanwhile, according to sources, several trader associations who import rice have agreed to adhere to the new rice price structures.

According to the Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs, sufficient stocks have been released to CWE outlets islandwide and that consumers were able to purchase rice at the stipulated prices.

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