The government has brought in a new set of Maximum Retail Prices (MRPs) for several new essential consumer items but this benefit has not been passed onto consumers. The new maximum prices are introduced to safeguard consumers from sudden market hikes, a senior official of the Consumer Protection Authority said.

Several joint venture manufacturers have been forced to shutdown their production plants and suspend expansion plans due to restrictions in the import of components and essential spares needed to run the machinery.

The media hyped visit of the US State and Defense Secretaries to Sri Lanka following the recent whistle stop official tour of a high-level Chinese delegation is highly doubtful under present circumstances, informed sources claimed.