It is reported that the sugar importers have requested the government to provide a relief period for the payment of demurrage as they have to pay a large sum for the imported sugar stocks which had to be kept in the containers at the port for nearly four months.
The importers have said that currently the price of a kilo of sugar would have to be increased by at least Rs. 50 and the price would have to be further increased in the event the sugar stocks remain in Customs for much longer.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Lasantha Alagiyawanna said that there is a shortage of cement and sugar in the country at present and that steps will be taken to provide the country with the required sugar and cement within the next three weeks.
He also expressed confidence that importers and manufacturers would work to supply the country with the required cement and sugar.
At present the price of a kilo of sugar is between Rs. 230-240 in various shops but the Consumer Affairs Authority has imposed a control price on sugar and the state institutions CWEs and cooperatives sell a kilo of white sugar at a control price of Rs. 122 and a kilo of brown sugar at a control price of Rs. 125, said Minister Alagiyawanna.
It is reported that when the sugar and cement importers met Minister Alagiyawanna recently asking for relief, the Minister of State had promised to meet the Governor of the Central Bank and resolve the issue expeditiously.