Sri Lanka may lift price controls on sugar: report

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka may lift price controls on sugar imposed at 93 rupees a kilo, following a request from food importers, a media report said.

Sri Lanka’s The Daily Mirror newspaper quoted a spokesman for the Association of Importers of Essential Commodities as saying that it was no longer possible to sell sugar at 93 rupees.

They had requested the price control to be removed and the government has agreed, he said.

In Sri Lanka price controls are imposed by the Consumer Affairs Authority.

Price controls were part of the Sri Lanka’s controlled economy that ended in 1977. Citizens are encouraged to call price control police on the short telephone code 1977.

Price controls were revived in a large scale under then Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunewardene, during an economic bubble that sent inflation near 30 percent in 2007/2008.

Trade Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, who also held the post during the rule of President Mahinda Rajapaksa continued to impose price controls. The current administration had also imposed price controls on tea and hoppers.

Analysts say in addition to promoting blackmarket, price controls also expands the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats creating conditions for lobbying and corruption. (Colombo/Mar03/2017)

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