Essential items in Jaffna continue to be sold at appalling prices, despite attempts by authorities to control prices in the peninsula.
`Despite a decision taken by the Jaffna Government Agent to impose a price controlling formula in the peninsula, the businessmen are paying scant regard to the price controlling formula and are jacking up prices in an ad hoc manner, according to their whims and fancies,` sources told The Nation.
As a result, most of the shops sell both essential and non essential products keeping a flat profit of 100%, if not more.
`The public is helpless against these racketeers, as they have only two options, either pay exorbitant prices and survive or starve to death,` sources pointed out.
As of last week, most of the shops in the peninsula were selling rice at Rs. 130 a kilo, while flour was being sold between Rs. 80 to 100 a kilo, dhal at around Rs. 200 and sugar at Rs. 100. Garlic was priced at Rs. 800 a kilo, tea was sold at Rs. 750 and ginger at Rs. 1,200 a kilo.
A kilo of onions was being sold at Rs. 100, potatoes at Rs. 120, dried chillies at Rs. 300 and a packet of milk powder (any brand) at Rs. 350.