Islandwide raids by CAA to ensure fair prices
- Main focus on food and construction material
By Dinitha Rathnayake
The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) stated it has been conducting islandwide raids to ensure that essential food items are sold at reasonable prices.
Speaking to The Morning, a CAA official said the raids mainly focused on food items and construction material.
According to CAA, up to July, they conducted raids pertaining to 5,964 trade disputes, filed 5722 cases, and imposed fines (not imposed by courts) of around Rs. 44.0 million.
So far, 1,050 raids were related to unfair prices on rice, 264 on biscuit and bakery products, 254 on cement, 233 on sugar, 226 on paint, 206 on cream, 157 on electrical equipment, 136 on medicine, 117 on soft drinks, 101 on soaps and shampoos, and 77 on milk powder.
A total of 2,224 complaints were received on the 1977 telephone number, of which 459 were successfully dealt with.
Meanwhile, Minister of Trade, Commerce, and Food Security Nalin Fernando said that construction and raw material production companies, which have unfairly increased prices, have been summoned before the CAA.
The Minister said that attention has been paid to construction companies that have increased prices against regulations.
He noted that during the past few months, many complaints have been received alleging that the prices of cement, wires, sand, and other construction material have been increased.
Minister Fernando, however, while acknowledging that the foreign exchange crisis has hampered the importation of construction material, said that the companies have been summoned before the CAA to inquire whether the prices have been increased in an unfair manner.
The Minister said that price control measures may have to be implemented if it is revealed that the prices have been increased in an unfair manner.