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Sri Lanka’s Trade Minister Addresses Rising Vegetable Prices and Increased Costs of Imported Eggs

Trade, Commerce, and Food Security Minister Nalin Fernando commented on the soaring vegetable prices, stating that importing vegetables could potentially lower costs. He mentioned that by importing vegetables, items like a kilogram of carrots, beans, and leeks could be provided at Rs. 300 to Rs. 350.

Minister Fernando informed the Secretary to the President to convene the Food Policy Committee, urging the Agriculture Ministry and other relevant institutions to explore options for reducing vegetable prices. The Food Policy Committee agreed to work towards lowering vegetable prices within a month or one and a half months.

He highlighted the impact of increased taxes on imported goods, mentioning that the price of an imported egg has risen by Rs. 8 due to the recent hike in Value Added Tax (VAT) and other taxes. Under the new pricing, an imported egg will now be sold at Rs. 43 at all Sathosa outlets, compared to the previous price of Rs. 35.

Minister Fernando explained that the State Trading Corporation (STC) imported eggs from India under new tenders after the VAT increase. Considering the VAT hike, along with increased taxes and transportation costs, egg prices have been adjusted to reflect a Rs. 8 increase.

He noted that the STC monitored the local egg market for two weeks but observed a surge in prices up to Rs. 52 to Rs. 55 after the imported egg supply was halted. In response, the State Trading Corporation decided to resume importing eggs under new tenders to mitigate further price increases.

The Minister emphasized that if local suppliers can meet the demand by offering eggs at Rs. 43, the issue would be resolved.

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