State to intervene in bringing down prices of essentials | Daily News

State to intervene in bringing down prices of essentials

The State will intervene in future to provide tax relief to people for essential commodities that are under price controls, Co-Cabinet Spokesman Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said.

He was speaking at the Cabinet media briefing held at the Government Information Department yesterday (02).

He further said that Trade Minister Dr.Bandula Gunawardena made a lengthy submission at the weekly Cabinet meeting regarding tax relief not available to the public despite the imposition of a controlled price for essential commodities.Cabinet also agreed on a number of methods in providing goods at concessionary prices to the people,”Dr.Pathirana said.

“Private importers have control of some of the imported commodities including dhal, salt and sugar. However the Trade Minister proposed to reach a fixed price with Sri Lankan manufacturers until Sri Lankan production reached a maximum level,” he said.

The Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal made by Minister Bandula Gunawardena to enter into agreements to achieve price stability.The Minister further said that in recent days taxes have been reduced by Rs.50 for the purchase of sugar at concessionary prices to consumers but sugar importers were not prepared to provide that concession to the people.

Minister Pathirana said that the government has given the necessary powers and provisions to the Trade Ministry to provide state intervention in certain programmes in the future while discussions are being held on this matter as people have not to received the tax relief benefits even after tax relief has been granted.

“There is some monopoly between importers and suppliers and there are problems in controlling them under free trade. Therefore,Cabinet yesterday decided to provide state intervention and to involve public investment to some extent in these activities,” Minister Pathirana said.