Joint effort vital to control prices of essential items
A joint effort should be made by the public and the private sector to
control the rising prices of essential items, said Trade, Marketing
Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Services Minister Bandula
He said that a meeting will be held next week attended by finance,
agriculture, trade, ministry representatives, public and private sector
rice millers, importers, producers and traders to set up a permanent
price scheme for essential items for the New Year season.
The Minister said that the present trend is buy paddy from rice
millers and businessmen at high rates than the government price to sell
at big profit margins. Most of the rice producing countries including
Vietnam, Burma and Thailand banned the export of rice and Pakistan and
India export only high quality rice. Under these circumstances an
agreement on prices of essential items is vital, he said.
He said that he has advocated the reduction of the coconut and
vegetable oil import tax as an urgent remedy to counter the country's
coconut scarcity which has caused an increase in coconut prices.
The Minister said that there are sufficient stocks of essential items
such as milk powder, sugar, onion, and dhal at Sathosa and State import
agencies.The government will import milk powder and cement at low prices
than the present market prices before May as agreed by suppliers, he