1,700 containers of essential items stranded at port

Close to 1,700 containers of imported essential commodities are stranded at the Colombo Port for nearly two months as a result of the dollar shortage in the country, it is learnt.

The Essential Food Commodities Importers and Traders Association said that the situation is due to the delay in issuing dollars to the banks by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Although several rounds of discussions were held with the related Ministers and public officials on the matter, a proper solution is yet to be reached, the importers added.

Reportedly, the delays in clearing the stranded essential items at the Colombo Port have led to an artificial shortage of goods in the country, and this situation is expected to prevail in the future as well if a solution is not sought immediately.

A meeting has been scheduled for January 18, with the Minister of Trade Bandula Gunwadena to discuss the issue, the association added.

Meanwhile, local cement companies complained that the existing dollar shortage in the country has hampered their manufacturing activities and that they are unable to meet the demand.

A local cement company manufactures 230,000 metric tons of the product per month and imports 20,000 more metric tons.

However, due to the ongoing dollar crisis in the country, the local cement companies said they are facing challenges in importing cement and raw materials required for manufacturing cement.