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Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says the government has taken steps to provide rice and other essential commodities at a concessionary rate.

Speaking at an event in Hambantota, Minister Amaraweera accused the mill owners of controlling the paddy prices and stressed that the issue has been addressed.

The Minister said that at present, there is no difference between both imported and locally produced rice adding certain mill owners are now benefitting from this.

He noted the government has decided to provide rice at a concessionary rate regardless of whether it is imported or locally produced rice.

The minister said currently Rice and other essential commodities are being sold at Sathosa outlets at concessionary rates noting last week discussions were held with supermarket owners and they too agreed to provide products at reasonable prices and accordingly by next week this programme is expected to be launched.