Artificial scarcity of goods created over new controlled prices: Consumers claim

Artificial scarcity of goods created over new controlled prices: Consumers claim

Artificial scarcity of goods created over new controlled prices: Consumers claim

Written by Tharushan Fernando

16 Jul, 2016 | 8:57 pm

According to many consumers, an artificial scarcity of goods has been created in the market, following the decision reached by the government to impose control prices for 16 essential items. On July 14, control prices were introduced for 16 essential food items by the government.

Sellers claim that cannot sell the goods under the control price because the wholesale price of these goods are more than the given retail price.

“We cannot sell sugar. We have stopped the sale of sugar. The wholesale price is Rs.110. This shop does not sell sugar. They want us to sell 100 grammes of sprats for Rs.50. We cannot provide these goods to the people “, said one such seller.

The Consumer Affairs Authority notes that the benefit of the price reduction should be given to the consumers.

Deputy Director of the Consumer Affairs Authority, Asela  Bandara stated that the consumers can make a complaint by calling 1977.

“We have been informed that traders are hiding stocks”, charged the Deputy Director who explained that if a raid is carried out the entire stock will be taken to courts and will be confiscated.

He pointed out a normal shop can be fined from between Rs 1000 to Rs. 10,000 while one can also be imprisoned for six months under the Consumer Affairs Authority Act. And if a private company is found guilty, the fine would be from Rs 10,000 to Rs. 100,000 because there is provision to do so under the act.

The Consumers Affairs Authority carried out raids on Saturday. to nab trader selling goods above the controlled price. The CAA notes that 200 raids were carried out across the country while legal action was taken against 65 shops.

Chairman of Consumer Affairs Authority, Hasitha Tillekeratne noted that some places have enacted the control price while some have not, and legal action will be taken against traders who do not comply with the new control price and for selling goods above the control price. And if the Government introduces a price, it needs to be sold at that price.”

“This is a legal matter” he pointed out.

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