Trade and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said the tax on the imported sugar was increased by Rs. 10 per kilo by the Consumer Affairs Authority and traders cannot increase the new price arbitrarily.
He was addressing the gathering after opening the 380th Sathosa outlet in the Pottuvil area recently.
The Ministry has deployed 200 inspectors to look into the price-hike manipulators, he said.
Twelve items including sugar were gazetted as essential items on Friday. The ministry has planned to open 500 Sathosa outlets island-wide this year, Bathiudeen said.
He said stern actions would be taken against those who sell the essential items above the control price.
Rural Economic Development Deputy Minister Ameer Ali, South Eastern University former Vice Chancellor and Laksala President M.S. Ismail, former Eastern Provincial Councillor Abdul Majeed and Dr. A.M. Jameel participated.