Colombo, Oct 12 (DailyMirror) – Sri Lanka has within the past 48 hours announced rising prices for basic necessities which has led to anger among citizens throughout the nation as the public still struggles to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic which saw many livelihoods come to a standstill especially during the 42-day lockdown.
Litro Gas Lanka who on Sunday night announced a skyrocketing increase on its domestic gas cylinders, yesterday made a small U-turn by offering the public a slight reduction. As a result, a 12.5kg gas cylinder now costs Rs.2,675, a 5KG cylinder costs 1,071, a 2.3 kg cylinder costs Rs.506 and a37.5 kg cylinder costs Rs. 8,300.
Laugfs Gas also increased its prices on Sunday night for the Colombo district with a 12.5 kg cylinder increased by Rs.984 to Rs.2,840 and a 5 kg cylinder increased by Rs.393 to Rs.1,136.
With gas prices now a burden on the consumer, social media had an increasing number of inquiries yesterday on the price of firewood and kerosene with the public voicing their disgust over the sudden increase.
Following this increase, yesterday morning, Prima and Serendib Flour Mills announced that a kilo of flour had been increased by Rs.10 with immediate effect subsequently leading to an increase in the prices of lunch packets, fried rice, kottu and a cup of milk tea by Rs.10 from today.
Chairman of the All Island Canteen Owners Association,asela Sampath told the Daily Mirror that the price of plain tea however would remain at Rs.25 but lamented that a small increase of Rs.10 would be a loss to the canteen owners.
He said with the massive increase in the price of gas, the price of a lunch packet should be increased by Rs.30, but considering the situation of the people, the AICOA had decided to increase the prices by Rs.10.
Sampath said with the massive escalation in the prices of essentials, the canteen industry was in danger of collapse as people would now refrain from buying cooked food from shops and canteens.
Following the increase of flour, Bakery Owners yesterday announced that a 450 kg loaf of bread would be increased by Rs.5 as they had received the relevant flour stocks for the bakery products at the increased price. The price of a 50kg cement was also increased by Rs.93, officials said with a bag now costing Rs. 1,098 from its earlier price of Rs.1,005.
Meanwhile, with the existing sudden price hikes, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation yesterday hinted that a fuel price hike was also possible considering the fuel prices in the world market.
CPC Chairman W.W.D. Sumith Wijesinghe told Daily Mirror that global prices were fast increasing and the price of a crude oil barrel, which was US $85 on October 1, had increased to US $92.
With Sri Lanka just coming out of the 42-day lockdown and with the economy facing a severe brunt, social media broke out in debate yesterday with a majority voicing their anger against the sudden price hikes. On Twitter and Facebook, people expressed their disappointment at the rising cost of living with many calling it the incompetence of the government while some slammed the opposition over its dull silence. (Jamila Husain)