Written by Keshala Dias
13 Mar, 2017 | 2:45 pm
The Essential Food Commodities Importers and Traders Association states the price of sugar has increased due to the depreciation of the rupee against the US Dollar.
Chairman of the Association Nihal Seneviratne says, a kilogramme of white sugar will have to be sold between Rs. 110 and Rs. 115.
The annual requirement for sugar in the country is 480,000 metric tonnes, out of which more than 90% is imported due to the collapse of the local sugar industry.
The monthly requirement of sugar is 40,000 metric tonnes while the daily requirement is 1,300 metric tonnes.
Brown sugar is produced locally with sugar production primarily taking place at the Higurana, Pelawatta, Sevanagala and Kanthale sugar factories.
However, only 8% of the country’s sugar requirement is met through these local factories.
Nihal Seneviratne, the Chairman of the Essential Food Commodities Importers and Traders Association notes that since the import tax on a kilogramme of sugar which was at 25 cents has been increased repeatedly up to Rs. 13, a kilogramme of white sugar has to be imported at a cost of Rs. 107.
Sri Lanka currently imports sugar from Ukraine and Dubai.
According to the Consumer Affairs Authority, a gazette was issued on January 27, 2017, under the Consumer Affairs Authority Act setting a controlled price of Rs. 93 per kilogramme of white sugar.
However, consumers charge that sugar is sold in the market at a price exceeding the controlled price.
With the increase in sugar prices, the Chairman of the Bakery Owners Association N. K. Jayawardene stated that the prices of cake and buns have also increased.
Furthermore, the Convener of the Canteen Owners Association Asela Sampath also said, the quantity of sugar added to plain tea and milk tea served at state institutions and at canteens will have to be reduced due to the increase in sugar prices.
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