Among the concessions he announced was a reduction in gas and kerosene prices as well as a cut in the price of local milk powder.
In the budget speech, Karunanayake proposed to reduce the price of 11 selected essential commodities as promised.
“I propose to reduce the Special Commodity Levy (SCL) of potatoes by Rs 25/- per kilogram. Accordingly, it is expected to provide a price ranging from Rs 75/- to 85/- for a kilogram of potatoes for the consumers. I also propose to reduce the SCL for big onions by Rs 25/- and to provide consumers with a price ranging from Rs 85/- to 95/- per a kilogram of big onions. As I have stated before, I also propose to reduce the price of a 400 gram packet of locally manufactured milk powder which is another main commodity to Rs 295/- and in order to cover the loss incurred by the local milk powder manufacturer, the Government will provide a subsidy of Rs 30/-. Considering the significance of the nutritional requirement of infants, I also propose to reduce price of infant milk powder
by Rs 100/- per kilo. I also propose to reduce the price of a canned fish tin of 425 grams to
Rs 125/-. Accordingly, I propose to provide a subsidy of Rs 15/- for a canned fish tin of 425 grams. Hon. Speaker, the consumer has to bear a high price for sprats which is another essential food item. The retail price of sprats oscillates varies considerably in the market. When Lanka Sathosa sells a kilo of sprats at a price of Rs 380/-, the retail sellers sells at a high price of Rs 800/-.I propose to limit the maximum retail price of Sprats to Rs 410/- per kilogram. As a result of the intermediaries being prevented by accruing unnecessarily large profits, the consumers will be able to benefit significantly.The consumers have to pay a high price for Dhal, which is another main public food commodity since the intermediate sellers keep a high profit margin. Though the cost of importation is around Rs 130/- per kilo of dhal, the selling price of dhal in the open market is as high as Rs 220/- per kilo. Accordingly, I propose to implement a
maximum retail price of Rs 169/- per kilo of dhal in order to provide a reasonable price for the consumers. To do so, I will completely remove the SCL imposed on dhal. In addition, I also propose to reduce the price of a 12.5 Kg gas cylinder by Rs 150/- with immediate effect and to reduce the price of 1 liter of kerosene by Rs 10/- in order to provide relief for the poor. Stern legal action will be taken against the sale of kerosene oil mixed with other oil in order to prevent discrepancies faced by the poor,” he said.