Jan 30, 2017

Harrison gets Rs. 01 per kilo Featured

The prices of rice remain high due to the brokers of rural economic affairs minister P. Harrison being given the state-owned paddy stocks, alleges president of the Polonnaruwa district rice producers association Mudith Perera.

None of the 52 mill owners in the district who had applied to receive the paddy from the Paddy Marketing Board, through the association, have been issued with the paddy, according to him.

Twenty two mill owners recommended by minister Harrison received the paddy, he said, adding however, that none of them were actively involved in milling rice.

They were brokers of the minister, chairman and the zonal manager of the PMB, Perera charged.

For the first time, rice prices went up at a time when PMB has released its stocks to the market, but not to rice mill owners, he said.

He said the PMB sold the paddy at Rs. 43 – Rs. 44 for Naadu and Rs. 46 – Rs. 47 for Samba, whereas the prices in the open market were Rs. 53 – Rs. 54.

Harrison gets Rs. 01 per kilo

They get a Rs. 10 commission for every kilo of paddy they sell, of which Rs. 01 goes to the minister, he charged, adding that they receive a profit of Rs. 150,000 per 300 bales.

Attempts to contact PMB chairman M.B. Dissannayake were unsuccessful.

PMB’s zonal manager for Polonnaruwa A.G. Nimal Ekanayake claimed paddy had not been sold outside the list.

He said 36,000 tons were still with them, which would be given to small mill owners upon receiving approval from authorities.

Ekanayake said he was unaware of anyone getting commissions from the paddy sales.

(Pictures: W.A. Piyatilake)


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