The Consumer Affairs Authority warns the public not to store paddy or rice unnecessarily as there is no shortage of rice island-wide.
Addressing a media briefing in Embilipitiya today, the Director of the CAA Asela Bandara said the price of rice could increase due to such actions.
He said over the past few days consumers have resorted to hoarding rice, adding such actions were the result of misinformation spread among consumers.
Asela Bandara said the public is of the opinion that a shortage of rice exists at present reiterating there is sufficient stocks of rice for consumption. Bandara noted paddy and rice are perishable commodities that cannot be stored for long periods.
He warned that some consumers were resorting to purchasing paddy at higher prices while being unaware rice mill owners would adjust the prices of rice in the market accordingly.
He requested the public to refrain from storing stocks of paddy and said the CAA would take every measure to prevent the increase in prices.
On a separate note, Asela Bandara said raids against those selling rice at higher prices are continuing.
Bandara said the Minister of Trade has issued directives to the Consumer Affairs Authority to take strict legal action against such individuals.
He said cases will be filed against those found to be selling rice at higher prices within the next week with necessary fines being imposed on vendors.
The Director said 70 raids were conducted on vendors selling at higher prices while 150 raids were conducted on vendors who failed to display prices.
He said there are no other concerns pertaining to rice and paddy except for the increase in purchases by consumers in recent times.