New Year Price Slash

New Year Price Slash

Government Directive to Pass Benefits of Rupee Appreciation to Consumers of Imported Goods


With the Sri Lankan rupee anticipated to further appreciate against the US dollar, the Trade Ministry has been instructed to devise strategies ensuring that consumers of imported products, including food items, reap the benefits.

A senior Treasury official revealed to the Sunday Times that they anticipate the foreign exchange rate to reach Rs 280 for a US dollar within the next two months.

Should traders fail to lower prices of imported goods with proposed measures, the government may resort to stringent actions, including imposing price controls.

Factors contributing to the rupee’s appreciation include increased foreign remittances and income from tourism, according to the official.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka reports a 4.4% appreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee against the US dollar up to February 29 this year.

The Trade Ministry is set to seek Cabinet approval tomorrow for a proposal aimed at enhancing competitive trading for imported commodities such as flour, sugar, onions, dhal, and milk food to maintain market prices.

Trade Ministry Secretary A.M.P.M.B. Atapattu stated that the proposal seeks to publicize prices of goods upon import, release from port, and arrival in local markets to maximize consumer benefit.

Market analysis reveals that despite the rupee’s strengthening against the US dollar, prices remain high, indicating traders are withholding benefits from consumers.

Mr. Atapattu highlighted the Finance Ministry’s directive to ensure reduced import prices translate into consumer benefits.

As part of the system, commodity prices will be publicized every Tuesday to inform consumers and encourage competition among traders, facilitating automatic price reductions.

Main importers were briefed on the initiative by the Trade Ministry this week.

A senior Treasury official emphasized the directive’s aim to pass on rupee appreciation benefits to the populace.


Champika Ranawaka Leads Efforts to Alleviate High Prices of Essential Consumer Items Ahead of National New Year

As the National New Year approaches, concerns persist over the high costs of essential consumer items. While the government has taken steps to reduce prices, challenges remain. President Wickremesinghe appointed ex-minister Champika Ranawaka to head the Parliamentary Ways and Means Committee, emphasizing the need to address undue profits made by importers of essential food items.

In a statement, Ranawaka highlighted the committee’s findings, indicating excessive profits from essential food imports. He emphasized the government’s responsibility to reclaim these profits to subsidize essential food prices for the public.

Ranawaka called for transparent pricing information to be provided to consumers through digital platforms and for regulation of essential food prices to prevent exploitation, particularly during festive seasons.

As Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Ways and Means and Leader of the United Republic Front, Ranawaka engaged with traders to discuss measures to reduce essential food prices before the upcoming festive season

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