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Sri Lanka: Rice Designated Essential Commodity

(Feb. 2, 2008) On January 23, 2008, the Sri Lankan government designated rice an "essential commodity" in accordance with provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. The move, which will allow the authorities to take actions against any traders who hoard and hide rice, follows reports that rice stocks were being withheld from the market by businesses. The Consumer Affairs Minister, Bandula Gunawardena, was the official who took the action, which was effective immediately. The Ministry has announced that it will take "tough actions" against the traders involved. (Sri Lankan Government Declares Rice as an "Essential Commodity" with Immediate Effect, COLOMBO PAGE, Jan. 23, 2008.)