Aspiring financial centre Sri Lanka controls price of dhal, sprats, milk
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka, which aspires to be a financial centre to equal Singapore and Dubai has set price news controls for poultry, dhal, gram following a collapsed rupee over the past year.
Prices of some of the items, including canned fish, onions and potatoes are artificially kept up with import cesses to allow producer lobbies to exploit poor people.
Many prices of good including drugs moved up over the past year as the central bank printed money to pay hiked state worker salaries and subsidies leading to a collapse of the currency from 130 to the 147 rupees.
Price controls, which went out of the economy in 1977 were revived in a wide scale during the Rajapaksa regime by then Trade Minister Bandula Gunanwardene. The current administration also wants to maker Sri Lanka a financial hub.
The new price controls come amidst a hike in value added tax to 15 percent.
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The Gazette notification which gives legal effect to the announcement is expected on 15 July, Ministry of Industry and Commerce a statement said.
The products are:
1. Chicken meat with Skin Rs 410 per Kilo – without Skin Rs 495 per Kilo
2. Red Dhal Rs 169 per Kilo
3. Sprats (Thai) Rs 495 per Kilo – Sprats (Dubai) Rs 410 per Kilo
4. Gram – Chickpeas Rs 260 per Kilo
5. Green Gram Rs 220 per Kilo
6. Canned Fish Regular 480 grams Rs 140 – (105 Grams– Rs 70)
7. White Sugar Rs 95 per kilo
8. White Flour Rs 87 per kilo
9. Full cream milk powder – imported Rs 810 per Kilo – Domestic Rs 735 per Kilo
10. Potatoes – Local – No control price Potatoes – imported – Rs 120 per kilo
11. B Onions imported – Rs 78 per Kilo
12. Dried chillies – Rs 385 per Kilo
13. Dried Fish – Katta – Rs 1100 per Kilo
14. Dried Fish – Salaya– Rs 425 per Kilo
15. Maldive fish –Rs 1500 per kilo
16. Sustagen – Rs 1500
Kithmina Hewage- Institute of Policy Studies