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Coconut oil price rise comes under protest of consumer and industry groups

By: Staff Writer

June 18, Colombo (LNW): All Ceylon Traditional Coconut Oil Manufacturers Association convener Buddhika De Silva attributes price hike to importers hoarding stocks anticipating higher demand during festive season.

Accuses importers of arbitrarily inflating prices; warns prices could soar to Rs. 1,000 per bottle if situation remains unchecked.

Criticises lack of regulatory action on coconut oil importers from Finance Ministry, Plantation Industry Ministry, Coconut Development Authority.

National Consumer Front Chairman Asela Sampath says price hike of over Rs. 150 per litre is unjust to households grappling with economic challenges.

Asserts Govt. must ensure fair pricing, transparency in market to protect consumer interests.

All Ceylon Traditi-onal Coconut Oil Manufacturers Association and the National Consumer Front (NCF) have voiced strong concerns over the recent surge in coconut oil prices, labelling the increase as unfair to consumers and local industries already struggling with a high cost-of-living.

Speaking to the media All Ceylon Traditional Coconut Oil Manufacturers Association Convener Buddhika De Silva attributed this increase to coconut oil importers hoarding stocks in anticipation of higher demand during the festive season.

He accused these importers of arbitrarily inflating prices and warned that prices could soar to Rs. 1,000 per bottle if the situation remains unchecked.

De Silva criticised the lack of regulatory action from key Government bodies. “To date, the Finance Ministry has not imposed taxes on coconut oil imports, the Plantation Industry Ministry has not implemented any regulations to curb this situation and the inept Coconut Development Authority remains silent,” he claimed.

He suggested that the Government could mitigate the price hike by allowing the importation of essential raw materials for local industrialists, which would counteract the unfair pricing strategies employed by oil importers.

Separately, NCF Chairman Asela Sampath highlighted that the price of a litre of coconut oil has risen by around Rs. 180 to Rs. 200, bringing the current retail price to a range of Rs. 550 to Rs. 880, depending on the quality.

“This substantial price hike of over Rs. 150 per litre is pushing consumers into deeper financial misery,” Sampath stated.

The NCF called for immediate action to address the issue, urging authorities to investigate the reasons behind the price hike and to implement measures to stabilise the cost of essential goods.

He questioned the Government whether the Customs had increased their taxes by around Rs. 150 overnight, insisting on an immediate inspection over the whereabouts of hidden stocks by traders.

“Consumers are already burdened with rising living costs and this additional increase in a staple product like coconut oil suddenly with a higher rate is unacceptable and unjust,” Sampath claimed.

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