Bakers complain of wheat flour mafia due to inaction 

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

The All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association (ACBOA) said that a wheat flour mafia has emerged in the country as a result of the Government not taking any action to address the shortage of wheat flour.

Speaking to The Morning yesterday (13), ACBOA Chairman N.K. Jayawardena said that some traders are currently selling wheat flour at exorbitant prices in the face of the increased demand due to the shortage of wheat flour.

He also claimed that no action is being taken to raid such places.

“Currently, there is a shortage of wheat flour so much so that most of the bakeries are not operational every day. This is not something that started very recently. The Government could have taken some steps at least to minimise this situation’s effect, but it has no plans to address this issue. Making use of this situation, some traders are selling wheat flour at very high prices,” he claimed.

Speaking further, Jayawardena added that a large number of bakeries have been closed down due to the shortage of wheat flour for months. He noted that as a result, a large number of people directly and indirectly involved in the bakery industry have lost their jobs.

Co-operative Services, Marketing Development, and Consumer Protection State Ministry Secretary K.D.S. Ruwanchandra was not available for comment.

Meanwhile, in December 2021, the ACBOA had given up on the pricing of bakery products and has instead decided to assign the said task to individual bakery owners in the face of rising commodity prices. At that time, Jayawardena stated that the ACBOA was unable to revise the prices of bakery products on a daily basis in the face of rising commodity prices. Therefore, he said that the ACBOA has requested the bakery owners to increase the prices of bakery products reasonably.