The Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage has stated that each rice miller who is in the rice mafia makes a profit of Rs. 50 billion (Rs. 500 million) in one season. The Minister said that there is enough food in the country at present and there is no shortage of it but this mafia should be brought under control while initiating the debate on the passage of the state of emergency in Parliament this morning (06).
The rice mafia buys a kilogram of Nadu paddy for 60 rupees and sells it over 125 rupees making a bigger profit. They turn a kilogram of samba paddy to rice with a buying price of paddy at 60 Rupees and sell it for 150 Rupees. He pointed out that there is no need for a government if the few sellers can determine their desired price at the vital food commodities. The Minister of Agriculture also stated that there is no purpose in this emergency law other than to control this situation.
Speaking further Minister Aluthgamage said
“Consider about the prices they buy from farmers and end prices of rice. If the government guaranteed price is 96 then what should be done when selling at 125. Although the Consumer Affairs Authority Act is said to be in operation, it is this mafia that has created it. Those who sell at a higher price will be fined only Rs. 2500. When a fine of Rs. 2500 is imposed, the owner of the mill pays the fine. We are now in the process of amending this Act to impose a fine of Rs. 100,000 on traders who sell at higher prices. He could face up to six months in prison.
There is no shortage of rice or vegetables in this country. All economic centres are under my control. Each comes in at 2.5 million to 30 million tons. There is a mechanism for giving to the customer. There is no shortage of vegetables or food in this country. He also stated that.