Minister of Trade, Commerce and Food Security Nalin Fernando says owners of rice mills have restricted production with the imposition of price controls for local rice by the government.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Ministry of Commerce, the Minister requested the public to refrain from accumulating large stocks of rice.
Minister Fernando said rice mill owners create shortages in the market when the government imposes maximum prices adding it inconveniences consumers.
The Trade Minister noted, under such circumstances consumers demand the Consumer Affairs Authority and subject Minister to release more stocks.
Minister Fernando said at such times the maximum price is removed due to the exertion of pressure on the government by the public.
Minister Fernando stated the issue relates to demand and supply of rice and requested individuals to refrain from hoarding large quantities.
The Minister said all decisions taken by the Ministry of Trade are on behalf of the public adding a price revision was not required for rice.
On a separate note, Minister Nalin Fernando said action will be taken if the prices of essential commodities such as sugar and dhal increase further.
Minister Fernando said discussions have been conducted with importers of essential commodities over the past weeks.
He added prices have been increased unfairly and added the CAA has been advised to intervene if prices of such commodities increase further.