Written by Tharushan Fernando
15 Jul, 2016 | 8:42 pm
The government introduced a new control price for sixteen goods last night.However, the Essential Food Commodities Importers and Traders Association says that it is impossible to sell sugar, dhal and sprats at the new control prices.
The gazette on the new control prices, introduced by the government for sixteen essential food items was released at midnight yesterday.
However, importers point out that certain items cannot be sold at the new control prices when taking into accout the prices in global markets.
Chairman of the Essential Food Commodities Importers and Traders Association, Nihal Seneviratne charged that an excise duty of Rs.30 for sugar is being paid while there are around 25,000 tonnes of sugar with the importers and around Rs.750 million has been paid for that.
“If we sell it for 95 rupees, we will incur a loss of over 750 million rupees. If there is no duty, we can sell the items for the controlled price”, pointed out the chairman.
He added that the controlled price for peas is Rs.260 but if considering the global market, even whole-sellers cannot sell at this price.
“We hope the government would mete out justice to the traders who have incurred losses through this ” he said.
According to the extraordinary gazette released last night, the Consumer Affairs Authority has issued orders that no manufacturer, importer, packer, distributor or trader shall sell, expose or offer for sale, the items listed above the maximum retail price introduced.
The CAA noted that legal action will be taken against errant traders.
Although the CAA made such a warning, traders say that the introduced control price is not a practical solution.
State Minister of Finance, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena stated that when there is a price increase, the already stocked goods will have to be sold at the reduced price. At that time they will not say that they are selling it for the lower price and when there is a price reduction it needs to be adhered to.
“We have informed the Consumer Affairs Authority to commence the raids this week, he said and added that officers will be dispatched to the divisional secretariats.
He further noted that sugar needs to be sold in the 90s from the day the gazette was released and no one can deny that and if any trader has increased the price, a complaint needs to be made to the Consumer Affairs Authority and there is a CAA branch at every district secretariat.
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