The Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Ministry of Commerce & Industry has cautiously warned major rice importers in the country to refrain from engaging in negative public relations that would undermine the efforts of the GoL. As rice remains the most politically sensitive commodity on the market, the GoL also warned strongly against all unnecessary media propaganda and the play of politics in the sector, as in the case of the Swiss Rice Firm mentioned about in the local newspapers.
The GoL, which caveat was contained in a strong worded press release .In a strong worded press release issued in Monrovia over the weekend, the GoL pointed out that competition in an open market system is measured by the natural forces of supply and demand and not undue actions that could lead to the artificial and/or real scarcity of the commodity on the local market.
The Government assured the public that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will do all within its powers to vigorously protect the market from any form or shape of misconduct that has the potential to undermine national food security in keeping with its statutory mandate.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has announced the issuance of an Executive Order, extending the suspension of tariff on rice. The decision, the Ministry disclosed, was taken by the President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, in furtherance of her commitment to bring relief to the people of Liberia.
By this action, the Ministry added, the import tariff on rice as classified under tariff nos. 1006.30.00 (in package of more than 5kg or in bulk) 1006.30.00 (in packing of at least 5kg); and 1006.40.00 (broken rice) under Revenue Code of Liberia Act 2000 has been suspended.