Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sri Lanka hikes prices of cement, poultry

Oct 14, 2012 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's consumer affairs authority, which has imposed price controls on chicken and cement, has raised the prices of the items media reports said.

 The price of a 50 kilogram of cement will go up between 68 to 85 rupees from midnight Saturday, Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror newspaper said in its online edition.

 The price of cement made by Holcim, which runs a fully integrated domestic factory, remain unchanged, the report said.

A kilogram of chicken will go up by 30 rupees.

Manufacturers of cement from imported clinker as well as importers were hit by price controls, after energy prices rose and the exchange rate depreciated.

Earlier amid a global rise is cement prices, price controls caused shortages and controversy arose over the import of allegedly low quality cement by a state connected firm.

Sri Lanka's imposes price controls making it difficult for businesses to operate, and also gives tax-arbitrage profits to others with high nationalist import duties.

Sri Lanka state intervention and nationalism clashed earlier in the year when the finance ministry hiked import duties on milk powder to give tax-arbitrage profits to domestic farmers, shortly after the consumer authority refused an industry price increase request.

Poultry which is under price control also has import protection. Sri Lanka's cost of production of poultry is artificially high duty to import protection given to maize farmers, under an autarkist policy.

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