Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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SL Confectionery Manufacturers cry foul over charges of price hike

Claiming that they have never made unreasonable increases in confectionery items such as biscuits, Lanka Confectionery Manufacturers Association said certain elements were spreading false propaganda on social media with the aim of destroying the confectionery industry.

Its Chairman SMD Suriyakumara told a news conference that they would take legal action against those who spread such false propaganda.

He said that the price of its products has not been increased compared to the increase in the price of raw materials, and that the price increases in its industry, which consists of 100% local entrepreneurs, have been done in such a way that the profit is very minimal.

Executive Director of the Association Ashoka Bandara said price of the raw materials used in the production of sweets mainly wheat flour, vegetable oil and sugar have been increased by almost 200% in past few months.

He said unless the prices of their products were not increased in line with the increase in raw materials, they could not continue the business.

“The price of a kilo of wheat flour, which is the main ingredient used In the production of sweets, has increased by 277% from Rs.77 rupees to Rs. 290.

The price of a kilo of sugar has increased by 180% from Rs.114 to Rs. 320, and the price of vegetable oil has increased by 195% from Rs.475 to Rs.1,400. But compared to that, the price of biscuits has been increased by only 171% from Rs.100 to Rs. 271, he said.

The Association said if the factories are closed, 50,000 direct jobs and 500,000 indirect jobs may be lost, not only the workers but also their dependents will be in a desperate situation.

They said at present, more than 20,000 farmers are in direct contact with the confectionary manufacturers and supply their products and if there is any impact on this industry, they too will not be able to sell their products.

“With this economic crisis, we felt its pressure and impact. Therefore, we wanted to somehow maintain these industries without closing them down. That is why some prices have been increased. All the other products are now being increased enormously. However, we have never made unreasonable increases,” they said.

The Association requested the President, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and all other ministers to provide the necessary support to maintain these industries without allowing them to perish

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