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Prices of goods imported via Undial and Hawala systems won’t drop due to rupee appreciation – Bandula

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Bandula Gunawardena

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The government will not intervene and reduce prices of goods due to the appreciation of the rupee as it would lead to market distortions, Cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardena told reporters on Tuesday.

Addressing the post-Cabinet press conference, Gunawardena said a lot of traders had imported goods using the Undial/Hawala system. They had paid high prices to import goods and these stocks were not over.

“Because of that they are not reducing prices although the rupee has appreciated. It will take time for the prices to come down and there is nothing that the government can do,” he said.

Minister Gunawardena also indicated that the prices of many fast moving consumer goods have gone down.

“However, if you look at things, like school bags, traders have brought in large quantities because they can store these items for a long time. There are still a lot of stocks left, and these traders have spent over 400 rupees for a dollar to get these items,” he said.

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