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Published on Friday, 01 February 2013 20:50
The government has reversed its decision to reduce the budget for state rice reserve to K3 bn and gone back to earlier budget of K10 bn.
Morover, an additional K15 bn has also been approved as contingent fund, making the total available amount for purchasing rice K25 bn, Dr. Soe Tun, the spokesperson of Myanmar Rice Federation told Eleven Media Group.
“Initially, K10 bn was budgeted for buying rice. Later, K7 bn cut was announced. Now the cut has been cancelled. So, the initial budget K10 bn remained the same. Even additional K15 bn has been injected in case of contingent requirement. So, a total of K25 bn was budgeted for state rice reserves,” he said.
The announcement of restoring budget follows the recent public voice over their concerns on State’s ability to control the market, and stabilize the price.
Critics then pointed out that the government needs to store enough rice, as it is intended to sell the reserve rice to the people when the rice price soars.
According to Dr. Soe Tun, the government will open purchasing centers in Yangon and Ayeyawady regions to buy rice.
“Previously, the government bought rice only on tender basis. Now it will adopt purchasing at wholesales center,” he said.
Currently, two purchasing centres, one in Hlegu township, Yangon region and another in Lemyethna township, Ayeyawady region, have been opened.
Meanwhile, the private sector which includes Myanmar Rice Federation will spend K4.5 bn for reserving rice for the State.
The market expects that the total amount K29.5 bn, which combines current state budget K25 bn and private’s K4.5 bn, can buy up around 50,000 tonnes of rice.