The Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) has announced that it has received sufficient financial allocations for paddy purchasing.
The PMB, stating that the government has spent Rs. 13 billion on paddy purchasing last year, also mentioned that steps have been taken to convert the purchased paddy stocks into rice and distribute them to 2.9 million low-income families across the island free of charge.
In addition, the government, through the Farmers’ Trust Fund, has provided an amount of Rs. 500 million for the purchase of paddy in ‘Yala Season’.
Accordingly, the Paddy Marketing Board has thus far purchased Rs. 300 million worth of paddy using the aforesaid financial allocation.
Although the PMB still has the remaining Rs. 200 million of the allocation in its possession, it is facing a boycott from the farmers who have refused to sell their crops to the Board. Thus, it has been decided to close paddy warehouses in several districts.
Moreover, the government has obtained the Cabinet approval to provide another Rs. 750 million as a loan from state banks to the PMB for paddy purchasing.
The Paddy Marketing Board mentions that it is ready to buy paddy by using those funds, whenever the farmers are willing to sell the stocks.