June 12, Colombo: The Ministry of Trade has issued a special gazette notification to prevent the concealment of stocks of essential commodities including paddy, rice, sugar, milk powder and maize effective from midnight yesterday (11).
The gazette notification issued Friday by the Consumer Affairs Authority orders those who maintain stocks of essential commodities including paddy, rice, sugar, milk powder, and maize to register with the Authority providing the accurate and factual information on all their inventory within a week, effective from yesterday In accordance with Section 10 of the Consumer Affairs Authority Act.
“Acting under the powers vested in it by Section 10( 1 )(b)(ii) of the Consumer Affairs Authority Act No. 09 of 2003, the Consumer Affairs Authority directs that no rice producer, rice miller, paddy and/or rice collector, store owner, distributor or paddy and/or rice whole seller, who has in his possession, custody or under his control any paddy and/or rice in any warehouses, silos, stores, containers and any other place unless such warehouse, silo, store, container and any other place is registered with the Consumer Affairs Authority,” the Extraordinary Gazette Notification for rice said.
“Further, the Consumer Affairs Authority directs that no rice producer, rice miller, paddy and/or rice collector, store owner, distributor or paddy and/or rice whole seller shall keep paddy and/or rice under his possession without being registered with the Consumer Affairs Authority and shall forthwith furnish information on demand to the Consumer Affairs Authority on the stock of paddy and/or rice in bulk or in any other form in such warehouse, silo, store, container and any other place.”
The Consumer Affairs Authority directs all existing rice producers, rice millers, paddy and/or rice collectors, store owners, distributors or paddy and/or rice whole sellers shall register within 07 days of this Direction and shall furnish information forthwith on the stock of paddy and/or rice in their possession in bulk or any other form.
Similar gazette notifications have been issued for Sugar (Brown sugar and White sugar), Milk Powder (Full cream, Low fat, Nonfat and Infant) and maize.
After the issuance of the gazette notification, it will not be possible to maintain wholesale stores without registration with the Consumer Affairs Authority and if such stores are maintained, the Consumer Affairs Authority will take action against them, the Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena said at a media briefing held at the Ministry yesterday (11).
Accordingly, the traders are informed that the facility has been provided to download the application for registration from the website of the Consumer Affairs Authority and forward it to the Consumer Affairs Authority by email, said Mr. Gunawardena. In particular, he said it was essential to submit the application to the Consumer Affairs Authority within seven days from yesterday.
The Minister said that the government has taken steps to keep the price of a kilo of rice below Rs. 100 by taking positive steps banning the importation of rice, providing water and fertilizer free of charge and increasing the guaranteed price for paddy from Rs. 30 to Rs. 50 per kilo.