Food prices: CAA to raid errant vendors
14 days ago | By Skandha Gunasekara
The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) is planning to increase raids on vendors in the suburbs and rural areas following complaints of price gouging, despite facing difficulties due to being understaffed.
A senior official at the authority said that the CAA was currently conducting over 1,000 raids a month to identify and impose strict penalties against vendors selling commodity goods at excessive prices.
However, the official said the agency was understaffed and lacked resources to maintain wide surveillance and interdiction operations.
The official told The Sunday Morning that the CAA was monitoring the situation regarding the high prices of goods, but needed more resources to cast a wider net.
“We carry out between 1,200 to 1,500 raids a month across the country and fine those who are selling essential foods and goods at higher prices than acceptable,” he noted.
He added that the recent economic trends had seen prices of goods reducing in many parts of the nation, but acknowledged that the price reductions were not equal in all quarters of the island.
He said there had been many complaints from rural and suburban consumers that some vendors were not reducing prices of certain goods despite them being reduced in urban areas.
“Our price monitoring division is closely observing the situation,” he stressed.
It has been reported that in the areas outside the Western Province, especially outside Colombo and Gampaha, vendors have been selling goods at high prices, making them unaffordable for most consumers.
Attempts to contact the Minister of Trade, Commerce, and Food Security on the discrepancies in food prices failed.