Prices of cooking oils in the domestic market have soared in the
recent weeks. This situation has been brought about by the increase in
the import duty on all edible oils. The import duty was increased from
28 per cent to Rs. 40.00 per Kg during December 2008, and again from Rs.
40.00 per Kg to Rs.60/00 per Kg, during early April. The prevailing
import duty and other levies on edible oils add up to more than
Rs.100.00 per Kg.
The price of Coconut oil in the domestic market has soared from
Rs.135/00 per Kg during early April, to Rs. 190.00 per Kg. The cost of
other imported edible oils (edible Palm oil, Soya Bean oil, Sunflower
Seed oil, Corn oil etc.), based on the prevailing import duty and other
cesses, will be more than Rs. 200.00 per Kg.
Sri Lanka’s edible oil consumption is estimated to be around 160,000
M/tons per annum. This demand is met by approx 70,000 M/ton s of locally
produced Coconut oil and the balance by other imported edible oils.
Twenty million consumers in Sri Lanka are now forced to pay almost
double the price for cooking oils as compared to the prices in the world
market. Cooking oil is an essential food item for a consumer. None of
the other essential food items are sold at double the world market
The price of Coconut oil in the world market is presently around Rs.
98.00 per Kg whereas the current price in the domestic market is Rs.
190.00 per Kg.
When consumers are appealing to the Government to bring down the cost
of essential food items there is no justification for them to pay double
the world market prices for cooking oils.
The relevant authorities should look into this matter immediately and
bring relief to the consumers, while identifying the people who worked
with vested interest to bring discredit to the Government.
The decision to deduct Rs. 50 from the pensioners in February by the
Director General of Pensions has been taken with the concurrence of 11
of the Pensioners’ Associations. Now the Vishramikainge Ekabadda Jatika
Sanvidanaya (Pensioners’ Joint National Front) and The Public
Pensioners’ Trust Fund have disowned this statement. (Vide ‘Sahana’ 2009
However, this decision would be interpreted to show that it’s for a
good cause and the benefits would be for the entire pensioners. Why do
you want to clamour for mere Rs. 50. No doubt? But, how many of the
pensioners have the time to spend in Holiday Homes or do they have the
essential requisites for their expenses when they have to spend fair
amount of the pension for doctors and medical tests.
What has happened to the Pensioners’ Home at Wedamulla built on
Government expence. It’s a 4 acre building site which is entirely
Government owned and I wonder it is being used only by the pensioners.
Had this proposal to construct a Holiday Home for the present day
Public Employees it would have been more sensible. This would have been
the ultimate motive as suggested by several writers. The gallivanting
trips around the island including Holiday resorts can be expected from
When a person is employed as a public employee, he is bestowed the
right of pension at the recruitment itself. When he retires it’s his
legal right. Some may try to interpret it as a Dole to make deductions
as and when it is required. As only a fair number of pensioners are
members of Pensioners’ Associations, is it reasonable to take decisions
in consultation with some of them.
“The purpose seems good. The means to that end is bad”. Every
pensioner would endorse this sentiment expressed by another writer. The
deduction has created precedence by the Director General.
In a future date, if he deducts Rs. 500 giving the reason that the
amount so deducted would be utilized for the construction of a large
reservoir like Victoria or Moragahakanda and such a scheme would be more
beneficial to the entire citizenry in the island. Where would we stand
This deduction is unreasonable and unjustifiable. We earnestly
requests the Director General to refund this amount as we have tendered
our requests to the relevant AGAs.