June 08, Colombo: A women's movement in Sri Lanka has organized a protest campaign against the price hike of milk powder.
The co-chairman of the Women for Rights Sumana Benaragama, Attorney-at-Law, said that the protest campaign will be initiated with a demonstration before the Consumer Affairs Authority in Colombo Monday evening.
She accused the government of trying to increase the price of milk powder covering to the welfare of the local dairy farmer.
She further said the movement protests the increase of import tax on milk powder.
The Finance Ministry said the Government decided to reduce the concession on customs duty granted to the milk powder importers with a view to maintain a fixed price for milk powder in the local market when there was a price hike of milk powder in the international market in the first half of this year.
Accordingly, the granted concession on imported milk powder has been reduced since the prices of milk powder continue to fall at present.
The Ministry explained that price of a metric ton of milk powder was around US$ 5,000 in January this year and it has dropped to US$ 3500-3800 by now.
Although a levy of Rs. 125 is charged per kilo of milk powder normally, only Rs. 57 was charged taking into consideration the price hike of milk powder in the global market during the first quarter of the year, and a concession of Rs. 68 per kilogram had been granted to the importers. However, it has been decided to reduce the concession on customs duty granted to the milk powder importers from Rs 68 to Rs.43 as the milk powder prices in the global market has dropped sharply by May this year.
Accordingly a levy of Rs. 82 per kilogram of milk powder has been imposed effective 02 June 2014.