The increase in prices of imported items has begun to filter down to the markets, raising prices of commodities used by the public.
A survey by the Sunday Times revealed that prices of a range of items have been increased within the past one month, with more to follow.
|Lubricants such as brake oil and grease have also
increased by 10%. Pix by Athula Devapriya
The price of a kilo of sugar, which was Rs. 85 in the last few months, has increased by Rs. 10. A kilo of potatoes has gone up by Rs. 5 and a cake of soap by Rs. 2. A kilo of coriander has gone up by Rs. 20 and dhal by Rs. 35.“The prices of most items have gone up, and when we buy all our household needs, we are surprised by the difference in the increased amount paid,” S. Malkanthi, a housewife said.
However, it is not only the prices of food items that have gone up, with most electrical items increasing in price by 10-15%. “A CFL bulb which cost Rs. 540 is now Rs. 575, and a normal household bulb has gone up by Rs. 10,” said a hardware shop owner.
Vehicle spare parts have also increased by 10-15%, while lubricants such as brake oil and grease have also increased by 10% this month.
M.Y.M Noordeen, a hardware store owner, said that the price hike has affected his business. “We are experiencing a decrease of 25-30% in sales these days. The increase in prices is hard on both the customer and the seller,” he said.
Old Moor Street Trade Association President P. Sundaram said that the price hike has affected all the importers. “The dollar went up before the New Year, but our importers had already imported many items from countries such as Australia, Canada and India. They were mostly food items. To import them, the traders took bank loans. Now, when they have to repay the loan, they have to pay $ 20 extra for every $ 10,” he said with all the traders facing a big loss.