The National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection (NMCRP) lodged a complaint at the Corruption Investigation Secretariat (Duushana Vimarshana/Mardana Lekam Kaaryalaya) against the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) over the alleged promotion of shops owned by the private sector.

Chairman of the CAA, Hasitha Thilakarathne and Director General of the CAA, K.D.A. Arandara have been named as the respondents.

Chairman of the NMCRP, Ranjith Withanage said that the CAA, an institution belonging to the State, having declared the period from March 14 to March 21 a ‘consumer benefits week’, was engaged in spending State funds on the promotion of supermarkets owned by Cargills, Arpico and Keells through the CAA’s official website and Facebook page, by calling on consumers to purchase goods on which discounts were being offered.

Wide publicity is being given for this through the electronic and print media, he added.

“The CAA is the sole institution established for the protection of the consumers. There is a large number of retail and wholesale shops in this country. In such a context it is not justifiable to advice consumers to gain discounts through the purchase of products available in supermarkets. If an organization that engages in the sale of goods offers a discount for a particular product during the said week, then the said discount must be offered throughout the land. A State institution spending State money to promote the private sector constitutes a corrupt act,” he opined.