Prices of essential goods, vegetables skyrocket in Jaffna
[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 December 2008, 17:58 GMT]
Prices of essential food items like rice, sugar and vegetables have hit an all time high in Jaffna peninsula due to the destruction caused by the recent rains, floods and cyclone 'Nisha,' sources in Jaffna said. Stocks of sugar have completely depleted in government stores, and the NGOs in Jaffna peninsula have requested Jaffna Government Agent (GA) to take immediate action to bring down the price of essential food items artificially held high by private importers, sources added.
Rice sold earlier at government controlled price of Rs. 70 per kg is now being sold at Rs. 100 to 140, while a kg of green chillies has risen 1300% from Rs. 60 per kg to Rs. 800.
Price of brinjals has risen ten fold from Rs. 40 per kg to Rs. 400.
Around 2,500,000 internally displaced persons who have lost their means of livelihood by recent floods, are trying to survive with the meager relief provided by the government, and the price spirals have affected the vulnerable sections of the society the most, civil society sources said.
Private traders using more prompt methods of commercial shipping to import food are exploiting the delay by the Jaffna Secretariat officials to bring the necessary food items, NGOs in the peninsula pointed out.
While Sri Lanka government gives publicity in the media that potatoes sufficient for the entire peninsula has been shipped to Jaffna, potatoes are yet to reach the peninsula, the NGOs said.
The private traders, however, sell potatoes imported by them at exorbitant prices.
"GA should arrange to transport essential food items as well as subsidiary food products to help the vulnerable residents with low financial means, the NGOs appealed to the GA.