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Govt confident food inflation will decline further in 2024

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Trade, Commerce and Food Security Minister Nalin Fernando says food inflation is expected to decline further in 2024.

Fernando mentioned that he had called for reports on food production to assess how much food prices can be controlled next year.

The lawmaker made these remarks at a news conference at the Presidential Media Centre yesterday (Nov. 09), themed “Collective Path to a Stable Country.”

Minister Nalin Fernando further commented;

“Food prices and safety are top priorities for our government. We have taken several steps to strengthen the economy and collect the required amount of taxes, such as increasing the sugar tax from 25 cents to Rs. 50.

“To protect consumers, we have also introduced a control price of Rs. 275 for 1kg of sugar. We are monitoring the sugar stocks of 12 of the 14 sugar importers daily to ensure that there is no shortage. We have also alerted officials to raid traders who sell sugar above the control price.

“We are also working to understand food production and security in the country, and how to control prices in the year 2024. We have requested reports from the Ministry of Fisheries, Agriculture and Livestock.

“This information will help us to guarantee the availability of essential goods at affordable prices for consumers next year. It will also help us to understand our import needs.

“We believe that by successfully implementing these measures, we can further reduce food inflation in the coming year.

“Sri Lanka is importing about 30 million eggs per month to help meet domestic demand and ensure that there is no shortage of eggs during the festive season. The government plans to continue egg imports until December 31, 2023, or until local production has recovered.

“The price of chicken meat has also been reduced from Rs. 1,700 per kilogram to Rs. 1,150 per kilogram after the government negotiated with producers. The government is committed to maintaining this lower price until the end of the year and has informed producers that it is ready to import chicken meat if necessary.”

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