The government has incurred a loss of Rs. 18600 million due to importing rice says JVP Parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi in Parliament yesterday (2nd).
The import of rice carried out in 2014 caused a large scale financial loss said Mr. Handunneththi. The loss was due to importing 250,210 metric tons from A.C.P. Company in India without any approval from the cabinet and when the farmer community in this country had to heap paddy by the side of roads unable to sell their produce he pointed out.
Mr. Handunneththi said Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) would carry out an investigation regarding this and would take measures to present a report to Parliament soon.
He revealed that A.C.P. Company that imported the stock of rice for the government was not a company that imported rice and the process of import has not been carried out in a methodical manner. He said the stock of rice cannot be sold even for Rs.38 a kilo at present.
The rice was imported in batches of 50,000 metric tons, 100,000 metric tons, 60 metric tons and 25 metric tons since 15th October, 2014. During this period 40,000 metric tons of rice was bought from local farmers. As Customs did not release the stocks of rice imported the government had to pay Rs. 360 million as demurrage said Mr. Handunneththi.
Mr. Handunneththi made this revelation participating in committee stage of the budget debate.