(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – Faced with increasing price control issues in its domestic market, Sri Lanka started swiftly enforcing new protection measures on 21 January to safeguard its consumers from errant traders.
“The Investigation Officers’ Force of Consumer Affairs Authority ensures good practices in the retail markets to safeguard our 21 million consumers” declared Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 21 January in Colombo. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the Consumer Affairs Authority event at Vauxhall Street on 21 January where 62 new Investigation Officers (IO) were appointed by him to the existing IO force. Joining Minister Bathiudeen was newly appointed Secretary to Ministry of Industry and Commerce Chinthana Lokuhetti and CAA Chairman Hasitha Tillekeratne.
“Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) under my Ministry safeguards Sri Lankan consumers from errant traders since 2003. As the apex state organization serving Sri Lanka’s consumer interests, it shoulders the huge responsibility of safeguarding our Consumers as well. The Investigation Officers’ Force of CAA ensures good practices in the retail markets to safeguard our 21 million consumers” said Minister Bathiudeen after handing over the appointment letters and added: “Today we are appointing another 62 new Investigation Officers (IO) bringing the total IO forces to 250 island-wide. Before end of 2017 I will appoint another 200 or more IOs and will double our IO force so that we can increase our consumer protection raids and ensure stronger controls on errant traders as per the good governance vision of HE President Maithripala Sirisena and Hon Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.”
“You, the new IOs, have been entrusted with the great task of protecting our consumers under the guidance of Minister Bathiudeen” said CAA Chairman Hasitha Tillekeratne, and added: “We thank all our IOs for their ongoing efforts in carrying out raids and collecting fines.”
In 2016, CAA carried out 21819 raids, and filed 21000 court cases. CAA netted Rs 90 Million from fines imposed in 2016, a huge 33% increase over its fines collected in 2015. CAA is the apex government organization mandated to protect consumers’ interests and ensure fair market competition in Sri Lanka.