Written by Hassaan Shazuli
29 Apr, 2020 | 4:20 pm
COLOMBO (News1st): Sri Lanka has removed the ceiling imposed on wholesale and retail prices on sugar to assist importers as the Sri Lankan rupee depreciated amidst a spike in world market prices.
The consumer affairs authority (CAA), on Tuesday, reversed maximum prices imposed in 2018.
Under the regulations, importers were instructed to sell sugar at Rs 92 a kilo to wholesalers, while the maximum retail price (MRP) on unpackaged sugar stood at Rs 100, and packaged sugar at Rs 105 a kilo.
“Importers will have to pay between Rs 114 and Rs 120 to import a kilo of sugar (at present). Since the ceiling prices are less than that they will be hesitant to supply stocks,” a source at the CAA told News1st.
The Sri Lankan rupee traded at Rs 195.8 against the US dollar on Wednesday tad firmer from its all time high of 200.47 hit on April 9, central bank data showed.
According to state-owned Lanka Sugar Company, the country had required 590,171 metric tonnes of sugar in 2019 of which 90.65 percent had been imported at a cost of Rs 33.5 billion.
The finance ministry which slapped import restrictions this month, directed commercial banks to facilitate imports of more than 100 products including sugar on a credit basis for three months.
The restrictions which also included temporary bans on the importation of at least 156 products, were imposed to control foreign outflows from the country.
However, these restrictions were relaxed this week as businesses were permitted to resume imports with permission from the Department of Imports and Exports Control.
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