In a statement, the ministry says the 14 distilleries in the country use toddy, molasses, maize and fruits for the purpose.
On a recommendation by the then government, the Excise Department gave permission in 2006 to one producer only to use rice for the manufacture of spirit, it says.
Recently, that producer has been allowed to use maize for the purpose.
As per a 2018 budget proposal, a gazette extraordinary issued on 09 November imposed a Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 duty per litre in the manufacture of spirit.
Rejecting a claim by MP Bandula Gunawardena in parliament, the ministry says the present government has not permitted the use of rice to manufacture spirit.