Sri Lankan essential commodity importers and traders say that they cannot sell essential food items such as dhal, canned fish and big onions at the Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) imposed by the government.
Secretary of the essential commodity importers and traders association G.S Ilaimanathan said that Importers of dhal big onions and canned fish have to pay high prices for their imports of essential commodities as they have to place orders in advance to continue their supply amidst world market price fluctuations.
He noted that they had to pay high prices for imported essential commodities and they cannot sell it at government’s fixed price amidst fluctuations in world market prices and the depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar.
Sri Lanka is importing dhal from Canada and white sugar from India and the prices of those commodities have been rising at present.
The imposition of the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) will exert a great impact on the continuity in the supply of dhal, big onions, canned fish and sugar as the importers cannot recover their costs, he said.
He revealed that wholesale dealers had to process and store large stocks of imported dhal and their total cost has shot up to over Rs.200 per kg as result of high import prices, taxes, depreciation of the rupee and the cost of processing.
He noted that consumers are prepared to buy dhal at price of over Rs150 per kilogram and Rs300-400 per kilo of big onions.
However Mr Ilaimanathan said that they have no intension to sell imported essential commodities at unreasonable prices.
The imposition of the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) will exert a great impact on the continuity in the supply of dhal, big onions, canned fish and sugar as the importers cannot recover their costs, a member of the Wholesale Trader’s Association in Pettah said.