The Trade Minister, turning down a request by Companies to increase the price of cement has emphasized that he will not permit a price increase through conspiracies thereby rendering the consumer helpless.
Minister Johnston Fernando said that the Consumer Affairs Authority had rejected a request made by three Companies to hike the price of cement. These Companies had requested for a 35 rupee price hike. The Minister pointed out that the conspiracy of the Companies to increase the price of cement was clear through their efforts to create an artificial shortage and putting the consumer into difficulty while hindering development. It was three weeks back that he mentioned of a conspiracy by the Companies to seek a price hike. He accused certain parties and institutions backing them. The maximum price of a 50 kilogram bag is 750 rupees.
The Minister stressed that he had already given instructions to the Consumer Affairs Authority to take action against anyone selling cement above the controlled price.