(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – A team of 50 officers of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) including the Chairman Retired Major General Shantha Dissanayake this evening has raided eight main and medium scale rice mills in the Polonnaruwa district.
A number of main rice mills in the district including the Araliya, Nipuna, Nivratna and Latht Sahal and several medium scale mills were inspected. Paddy mills owned by former president’s brother Dudley Sirisena and former MP Siripala Gamlath were also inspected.
Consumer Affairs Authority officials in Colombo, Polonnaruwa, Gampaha, Kurunegala and Kandy districts also participated in the raid.
The Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority said that after a discussion with the paddy mill owners, they had agreed to provide the Samba and Nadu rice unconditionally to the market at the maximum control prices set by the government.
The CAA Chairman speaking to the media stated that during the raid paddy and rice stocks at each rice mill, their production capacity as well as the amount of paddy and rice currently stocked in each of those mills were inspected.
He further stated that steps will be taken in the future to arrest the paddy mill owners who hoard paddy and rice stocks without releasing to the market.
CAA Chairman Dissanayake said that rice mill owners will not be allowed to hoard rice stocks to create a shortage of rice in the market. at a time when the people are economically distressed and the Authority will do its utmost to ensure that rice is available to the consumer at an affordable price.
Dissanayake said he had instructed the mill owners to promptly convert the paddy stored in the main mills in the Polonnaruwa District into rice and release them to the market.