Prices of lentils, sugar and garlic are set to go up with traders insisting that they have no option but to pass on the recent tariff increase to consumers.
The government earlier said the tariff hike on these items would not result in any price increase.
The import duty on lentils was increased by Rs. 8 a kilo, sugar by Rs. 5 a kilo and garlic by Rs. 15 a kilo.
A spokesman for the Essential Goods Importers and Distributors Association said tariff hikes meant the prices of the imported food items had to go up.
“There is nothing the traders could do. The new import duties have already come into effect,” he said.
Internal Trade Ministry Secretary Sunil S. Sirisena said the decision to increase the tariff on these items came from the Finance Ministry and he believed the tariff hike would not lead to a drastic increase in prices.