Sri Lanka feedmiiller asks to be freed from third party grip

ECONOMYNEXT – Ceylon Grain Elevators Plc, a poultry group with a feedmill has asked to import maize where licenses have been issued by the state to third parties, restricting trade.

"Hiked price of local Maize and associated import restrictions persisted during the period under review, which have directly affected the Group’s bottom line," the firm said in a quarterly review.

"Therefore, with the aim of relieving the local Maize supply shortage condition, appeals have been made to the Government to issue import permits of Maize directly to the feed millers to enable them to use their management skills to procure better quality Maize at competitive prices at the right time."

Sri Lanka last week cut taxes on maize, but the referecne to a third party import scheme shows there could be an import cartel or a monopoly.

Critics say licensing and permits, which restricts trade, confers privileges to a few and lays the groundwork for corruption and rent seeking.

Sri Lanka’s domestic maize production has slumped due to a drought. Domestic maize prices have been artificially propped up with import duties for several years, pushing up chicken and egg prices. (Colombo/Aug04/2017)

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