Coconut prices on the rise : NMCRP slams Govt
The National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP) stated that if the Government fails to monitor the increase in price of coconuts in the domestic market, it could even increase to Rs 150 shortly.
They charged that due to the want of a price monitoring mechanism, traders tend to jack up the prices of essential food items according to their own whims and fancies, thus aggravating the already severe economic constraints faced by consumers.
The NMCRP has urged the Government to implement medium and long- term measures to control the price of coconuts in the local market such as to place a fixed price of Rs 90 per kilo of coconuts, to implement a national programme to reduce wastage, grant provisions to import coconut oil, maintenance of policies for agriculture without changing them regularly, granting of fertiliser subsidies for coconut cultivation and granting low interest loans for such cultivations.
They have further stated that another reason for the regular hiking of coconut prices was due to the shortcomings of officials.
The NMCRP charged that one official continues to be the Chairman of the Coconut Development Authority, the Coconut Cultivation Board and the Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka. The NMCRP alleged that this official also functions as the Secretary of the Coconut Growers Association of Sri Lanka (CGASL) and as such they noted that instead of looking into the wider national interests, this official only looks after the interests of the CGASL thereby leading to regular price fluctuations of coconuts in the domestic market.