The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna says the government decided to suspend the imports of 129 items, that can be locally produced, in order to fulfil promises made to the public.
Speaking during a media briefing this morning, Minister SM Chandrasena said in order to move forward as a country, goods that can be produced locally must be produced in the country.
Minister Chandrasena said various allegations are being levelled at the move adding the President and the government are of the view that everything required must be sourced by individuals.
The Minister claimed it is also evident that the government is spending large sums in order to ensure COVID vaccinations are administered adding the World Health Organisation has also acknowledged Sri Lanka as one of the leading countries in the vaccination drive.
Responding to a question raised by a journalist pertaining to issues raised at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva over the imposing a state of emergency and the increased deployment of military personnel in local affairs, Minister Chandrasena said emergency regulations have been imposed to prevent traders from concealing goods in the face of the present crisis.
He claimed the Consumer Affairs Authority Act does not contain sufficient provisions to deal with such a situation adding the good governance government also imposed a state of emergency during the Meethotamulla landslide.
The Minister is of the view that emergency regulations were not required at the time adding the present situation however calls for emergency regulations.
He said the import and export process has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic adding the responsibility of the government and the vendor is to provide consumers goods at minimum rates considering the scarcity of resources.