Colombo, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Ahead of expected crop failure, Sri Lanka will complete the tender process within the next couple of weeks to import rice from India or Pakistan, an official said on Friday.
Rice is the staple of food of the island nation. The country has been self-sufficient in rice cultivation over the years. However, insufficient rainfall in the latest season has resulted in reduced cultivation.
Rural Industries Minister P. Harrison told Xinhua Friday the available stocks would be sufficient till April, this year, and therefore the government would import rice from India to replenish stocks.
"We will remove restriction on rice imports by the private sector. We will regulate the prices of imported rice. Otherwise, local mill operators will try to monopolize the market," said.