He said this was due to the worldwide shortage of rice.
Jayamanne further added that due to speculation that North Korea and America could resort to war in the near future, there is a worldwide food scarcity that is taking place. This, he said has also led to the increased demand for rice.
The price of a metric ton of Nadu rice is India is currently $ 435, while it was earlier available at $ 375.
Jayamanne pointed out that with the inclusion of taxes and other charges the price per metric ton of Nadu rice could reach $ 450, increasing the local price to over Rs. 100 per kilo.
He said as a result, rice that would be imported in the future cannot be sold at the current prices and with the rise in imported rice prices, even the prices of local varieties of rice could increase considerably.
According to Jayamanne, as the government has failed to come up with a viable strategy to market local rice, large scale mill owners are profiting by obtaining a huge profit of around Rs. 500 from every 50 kg bag of locally produced rice.
Cost of living committee in another world!
Jayamanne further stated that the reason for the hike in big onion prices was the 5% drop in local production in comparison to previous years.
He said the government has imposed a Rs. 50 tax on a kilo of onions and potato and despite bringing up this issue at the cost of living committee meeting and requesting them to reduce the taxes, these appeals seem to have fallen on deaf years.
The price of rice which is already over Rs. 100 per kilo is likely to increase even further, according to the All Ceylon Wholesale and Retail Traders Association President Bandula Jayamanne said.