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* Dairy companies in Sri Lanka required to register all milk powder warehouses
Thu, Dec 12, 2013, 10:20 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 12, Colombo: In a move to protect the consumers from artificial shortages, the Sri Lankan government has made it mandatory for the dairy food companies to register their warehouses for milk powder and reveal their locations.

Consumer Affairs Authority, Minister of Co-operatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando said today that a gazette notification is scheduled to be issued making it mandatory for milk food companies to reveal and register the locations of their stores with the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA).

Minister Fernando in parliament said today that the measure would empower the CAA to conduct inspections around the clock and he has instructed the secretary of his Ministry to issue the relevant gazette notification soon.

The measure comes in the wake of the CAA discovering huge milk powder stocks in warehouses of milk food companies without releasing to the market.

The CAA during a raid on 5th December found 257,658 of 400-gram Nespray milk powder packets worth Rs. 80 million in a private warehouse in Seeduwa. The finding came a day after the CAA investigators found 13.5 tonnes of milk powder stocks hidden at a state-owned Lanka Milk Foods (CWE) factory in Welisara.

The Minister cautioned the milk powder companies not to hide milk powder and cause inconvenience for the consumers by creating an artificial shortage in order to seek a price hike.

The Consumer Protection Authority informs the public that no decision has been taken to increase the price of milk powder and there could be no shortage of milk powder in the market.

The Minister also said the rules and regulations to control price of pharmaceuticals will also be effective from next month.

He assured that the traders will not be allowed to increase the prices of essential commodities during the festive season and the government will take measures to keep the prices stable during the season.

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