Amid the crisis triggered by the import of sub-standard cement from Pakistan, three local cement companies have sought the approval of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) to increase the price of a 50kg bag of cement by Rs.35, officials said yesterday.
The country is facing a severe shortfall in cement with the government accusing traders and manufacturers of hoarding stocks and thus creating an artificial shortage as a means of increasing prices. In an attempt to remedy the situation, the government imported 100,000 bags of cement from Pakistan, but the Sri Lanka Standards Institute said it had not certified this stock of cement as being of good quality.
At present the controlled price of a bag of cement is Rs.750 and the CAA said the three local companies had sent in a written request to increase the price to Rs.785 on the basis that the world market prices of raw materials used in the manufacture of cement had increased. The CAA Price Committee will meet this week to decide on the prices.