A company registered with the Board of Investment (BOI) was among a number of institutions found to be hoarding sugar yesterday, Daily Mirror learns.
The warehouse of the company and a number of other places were raided yesterday after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had enforced emergency regulations on five essential items, including sugar.
Officials said that a total of 29,000 MT of sugar was seized during raids carried out yesterday, including 6,900 MT from the warehouse of a company of a leading businessman.
State Minister of Cooperative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection Lasantha Alagiyawanna confirmed to Daily Mirror that a BOI registered company had been accused of hoarding sugar.
Asked the name of the company the Minister said he did not have the details.
However, he insisted that the authorities were not being soft on anyone and that any company, even if registered with the BOI, is found to be hoarding sugar, they will be dealt with sternly.
Alagiyawanna said that sugar seized from any institution will be released to Sathosa outlets to be sold at the approved price.
He said that raids will continue to detect and seize rice and sugar hidden inside any store or warehouse in an attempt to create an artificial shortage in the country.
Major General M. D. S. P. Niwunhella has been appointed as the Commissioner General of Essential Services to coordinate the supply of paddy, rice, sugar and other consumer goods that are essential to maintain the livelihood of the people.
Meanwhile, in a special statement last night, the Government insisted that there is no food shortage in the country, especially rice and sugar.
The Government Information Department said that some businessmen are attempting to hoard rice and sugar in an attempt to create a shortage in the market so as to sell it at a higher price.
The Government said that such items will be seized and released to the market to be sold at the approved price.(EASWARAN RUTNAM)