Sri Lanka adds more investigation officers for price controls

cosumer

Jan 23, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is enforcing new protection measures from 21st January to safeguard consumers from errant traders who violate price controls in the domestic market.

Industry and Commerce Ministry said 62 new investigation officers were appointed bringing the total force to 250, island-wide, to safeguard 21 million consumers.

Speaking at an event, Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that before the end of this year he will appoint another 200 or more to double the existing investigative force.

“So that we can increase our consumer protection raids and ensure stronger controls on errant traders as per the good governance vision,” Bathiudeen said.

In 2016, Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) carried out 21,819 raids, filed 21,000 court cases and netted 90 million rupees from fines, a huge 33 percent increase over its fines collected in 2015.

“As the state organization serving Sri Lanka’s consumer interests, it shoulders the huge responsibility of safeguarding our consumers as well.”

CAA is the apex government organization mandated to protect consumers’ interests and ensure fair market competition in Sri Lanka.

Certain analysts however say Sri Lanka’s Zimbabwe-style price controls are disrupting supplies and markets resulting in sudden spikes in domestic prices while creating actual shortages.