Minister Gamini Lokuge says the public having to queue up for various items is not the fault of the government.
The Minister speaking at a media briefing today said this situation arose owing to goods not being released to the market by importers.
The Minister said the government sought to ensure sufficient stocks of goods adding that the government cannot control prices in the market.
He acknowledged that the public had to wait in queues and stated it was not the fault of the government, claiming they trusted importers to ensure sufficient stocks.
Commenting on the controversial stock of fertiliser from China, Minister Lokuge said there are trade laws in place, with Letters of Credit in place and certain conditions and clauses adding that the government must work according to such conditions.
He said arbitrary decisions cannot be reached adding that if a legal tussle takes place the government will have to compensate responsible.
Joining the media briefing, State Minister Arundika Fernando said rice mills that are linked to the rice mafia should be vested with the public or should sell rice at affordable prices.
The State Minister said a large-scale rice mafia is operating that must be broken.
Fernando said all individuals are with the government, especially citizens in villages, adding that some persons are engaged in protests not out of their want.
He also stated that teachers and parents are supportive of the government as well.