Sri Lankan government urged to reduce bagged cement prices

Sri Lankan government urged to reduce bagged cement prices
23 May 2023

Sri Lankan cement customers are urging the government to make cement bag prices reasonable, given the appreciation of the local currency after the economic crisis in the country. Presently 50kg bag prices are hovering between LKR2500-2650 (US$8.14-8.63), according to company websites. The National Construction Association of Sri Lanka (NCASL) expressed concern over reducing a bag of cement by LKR150. It said this reduction was insufficient and the government should further reduce the cement price to LKR1800.

NCASL Chairman, Susantha Liyanarachchi, told the media that when the dollar value has reduced to a certain extent, the government should reduce a bag of cement for the sake of people, especially for the sake of many workers engaged in the construction sector. He said at the moment, nearly 55 per cent of government and private sector constructions had come to a complete standstill due to the unbearable prices of cement in the market. Therefore, the government should sell a cement bag for at least LKR1800 or less than this amount.

He said according to the current economic situation in the country, where the dollar value has dropped to a certain extent in addition to cement, the prices of all other hardware items such as sand, granite and iron in the local market should also be reduced. Mr Liyanarachchi added that due to certain unacceptable decisions taken by cement manufacturers and importers, they would not reduce the current cement price as their only intention is to gain high profits. 

Mr Liyanarachchi believes the prices of important materials such as cement should be decided by the trade minister and the finance minister, not the importers or manufacturers. The NCASL chairman further said that nearly 40m people engaged in the construction sector had been badly affected due to the unbearable cement prices.

Published under Cement News