Consumer rights activists heavily condemned the recent astronomical price revision on bread flour, alleging that a mafia worse than that of sugar is in operation in the trading of flour and urging the government for an immediate intervention.
Calling in a briefing yesterday (04), Convener of the Movement to Protect People’s Rights, Consumer Rights Activist Asela Sampath said the bread flour price must be controlled and the mafia must not be allowed to rule the industry. The lack of standard in bread flour has made it difficult to issue short-eats to the restaurants, he noted.
“The bread flour price must be controlled at this moment. If we are to let the mafiamen to rule, the people of this country will have to stay in hunger. There is no mobile bread distributor (referring to Chun Paan) to be found today. Today, it has become difficult to issue a vegetable roti, a pastry, a parata, an egg roti, or anything to the restaurants. Why? Because bread flour has no standard. Usually, bread flour used to come from cold countries,” Sampath said.
The consumer rights activist continued: “Now, the imports from India have been ceased. Because there was a surplus of stocks in India which was sent here and stocked back. By doing that, the price has gone up from Rs. 200 to Rs. 260, then Rs. 300, and then Rs. 310. Now the price is Rs. 400 – 410. The same stock of bread flour is being loaded and sold over and over again. The middlemen collect their charge, innocent people live in hunger. The industries have collapsed. You may see for yourself, how many bakeries have now been closed? A slice of bread like this (showing one to the media) will have to be sold for Rs. 30 from now on, if a loaf of bread ought to be sold for Rs. 300. This is because a kilo of bread flour is sold for Rs. 400. Because of this black market mafia, innocent consumers are being exploited. Please, the government must intervene on this matter. This is a mafia worse than that of sugar. For god’s sake, to increase the price on a daily basis, do they add gold dust to bread flour?”