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Culture of Sri Lankan traders prevent people from reaping benefits from price cuts: Sagala

20 Apr 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

By Yohan Perera   

 Sri Lankan trading culture does not allow people to enjoy benefits in terms of price reductions whenever the costs of inputs and logistics drop, Chief of Staff President’s Office Sagala Ratnayake said.

“Fuel prices were reduced recently but we did not see traders and transport providers reducing prices of essential items such as vegetables, bus fares and taxi charges. This is because the culture adopted by the traders. Traders often does not want to adjust their prices whenever there is a cost reduction and when it comes to complimentary goods,”  Ratnayake said in response to a question raised by journalists at a recent briefing. 

It has been a common occurrence in Sri Lanka that even bus fares and taxi fares are increased whenever there is a fuel price hike but no reduction whenever the prices are reduced, the journalists when they put the question to Mr. Ratnayake.   

“Another reason for the situation is the immaturity of the market. One can see quick price reductions whenever there is a reduction of fuel prices or power tariff reductions in other countries . However it does not happen in our country. We hope that this situation in Sri Lanka would change in few years’ time,” he said.   

Ratnayake said one can expect a change of culture and a sense of maturity within the next three years.   
Also he said institutions such as the Consumer Affairs Authority should make a note of this situation and take appropriate action.