CAA raids e-platform for selling essential items over fixed price

Thursday, 26 March 2020 01:38 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • sold items well over fixed price
  • Raid carried out following public complaints
  • CAA says will pursue legal action
  • Kapruka CEO denies allegations

Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) personnel yesterday raided a popular e-commerce platform for selling essential food items at prices far above the maximum retail price (MRP) fixed by the Government.

The raid follows complaints lodged with the CAA by people who used the platform to order home deliveries of essential items during the curfew.

Canned fish, which was fixed at an MRP of Rs. 100 per 425g can, was sold at Rs 550; big onions, fixed at an MRP of Rs. 150 per kg, was sold at Rs 500 per kg; and Mysore dhal, fixed at Rs. 65 per kg, was sold at Rs. 180 per kg by Kapruka.

The CAA said that it has carried out raids on several other outlets selling dhal, big onions, and canned fish over the fixed rate in the past few days and said the Authority would take legal action against those violating the regulations.

Noting that it has received many complaints, the CAA warned that it would carry out raids and further requested consumers to make complaints on the hotline 1977, or on the CAA Facebook page.

Kapruka CEO Dulith Herath however denied the allegations in a statement released yesterday, reproduced in full below:

“Kapruka has over 100,000 items listed online. This includes a list of price-controlled items that were sourced from a local supermarket chain, tagged under its brand, which were always sold at the same price as the store. This has remained unchanged, and any customer may check the prices online with the store and clarify this.

“In addition, we also have a list of products that are sourced from the general market and sold separately, which are not price-controlled items, and pricing is based on demand, i.e. red onions. During this time of crisis, Kapruka was compelled to source additional items from the outside market at much higher prices. Our oversight here was not having aligned on the pricing for items that were price-controlled by the Government. Steps have been taken to immediately correct pricing where applicable.

“The images currently shared on social media do not reflect the current situation, or our current pricing, but are fabricated with malicious intentions to damage our good name. 

“Over 400 team members are working around the clock to deliver your orders during the curfew. We are placing our teams at risk to carry out this operation, while making every effort to ensure their safety and yours.

“We assure all customers that our services remain uninterrupted and we would be working 24/7 to deliver over 12,000+ in-process orders to your homes as promised.”