Prices of several commodities expected to drop with Rupee’s appreciation – Trade Minister

Minister of Trade Nalin Fernando says that measures will be taken to reduce the prices of several commodities, in comparison with the appreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee.

Speaking at a press briefing today (June 01), Minister Fernando emphasized that the general public should receive the benefit of the lowering inflation.

“If there was a system to decrease the commodity prices as fast as it increases, we wouldn’t have to struggle with this matter,” he said.

However, the minister stated that a decision will be arrived at, in order to reduce the prices of fertilizer or to halt the increase of the relevant prices.

“We are also working to provide a solution regarding the increase in the price of chicken in the next few days,” he said, adding that “a discussion will be carried out with the companies such as iron, tile, aluminium and wire regarding a price revision”.

Furthermore, the minister claimed that necessary steps are being taken to revive the country’s construction sector, mentioning that the retail price of a cement bag is expected to decrease by around Rs. 300.

“We can only regulate [the market].  If we exert undue influence, we will receive some unnecessary results. Therefore, we must be careful in market affairs”, he added.

“The President has brought 11- 12 institutions under the Ministry of Finance.  There are few businesses that we need to exit, in order to provide more benefits to the people of the country.” 

“They are needed to be privatized or go to a mixed development program. The President will prepare a program that suits each institution,” Fernando said.