Written by Staff Writer
08 Sep, 2019 | 9:45 pm
Colombo (News1st) – The Consumer Affairs Authority states that legal action has been taken against more than 50 retailers for having sold wheat flour at excessive prices. The raiding unit of the Consumer Affairs Authority mentioned that the suspects had been identified during search operations conducted island-wide yesterday (September 7).
Flour millers had decided to increase the price of 1kg of wheat flour by Rs.5 starting September 6th without the approval of the Consumer Affairs Authority. The authority had mentioned that the price of wheat flour cannot be increased without their approval, as an essential food item.
They further added that 1kg of wheat flour should be sold at Rs.87. Flour millers will have legal cases filed against them for increasing the prices without their consent. The price of a loaf of bread weighing 450g has been increased by Rs.2 with effect from September 6th. President of All Ceylon Bakery Owners Association stated this decision was taken due to the increase in the price of wheat flour.
The following people had expressed their views regarding the issue.
National Organizer of Foundation to Protect Consumer Rights Asela Sampath stated that a loaf of bread is sold at a price increased by Rs.2. He reasoned that the Consumer Affairs Authority is conducting raids when the bread is increased by Rs.2 raising a question of how would the restaurant owner cover the losses suffered. “They are fining traders who sell flour at high prices. Who increased these prices? The company increased the price. Do not do such cheap things. If you do not have the backbone to act against these companies do not act in such a cheap manner. They fined innocent people and collected a sum of Rs 90 million last year”, he continued.
Chairman of All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association N.K. Jayawardena requested the government and the relevant companies to hold discussions and resolve this issue. He further requested to not inconvenience the bakery owners and the general public. “This is a joke. Every time after the prices of flour is increase they conduct raids and say that they are filing legal action and they fool the people”, he noted. He emphasized that eventually the people are made to purchase bread at a higher price and they have to purchase flour at a higher price.
MP of UPFA, Bandula Gunawardena highlighted that last week even after releasing US$ 75 million into the market they could not stop the rupee from falling. He explained that the rupee dropped to Rs.182 against the dollar and as a result of this the price of flour increased to Rs.5.50. “Consumer Affairs cannot set a control price lower than the world market price. When that is done that industry gets completely destroyed. That is what has happened to Pettah today”, he continued.
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