Consumer rights groups oppose any hike in wheat flour price

People could even face starvation, if the price of wheat flour is increased, alleged Movement for the Protection of Public Rights Convenor Asela Sampath.

He made this claim in the wake of wheat flour importers seeking a price hike.

Speaking to The Morning, Sampath claimed: “Poor people cannot afford to buy rice at the moment due to the sharp increase in prices. The only option they have is to eat a loaf of bread. If the price of wheat flour increases, all bakery products prices would also increase. Who would be responsible for that?”

According to Sampath, most of the Muslim and Tamil community are consuming wheat flour as a basic food ingredient, while other communities consume it in the form of bakery products.

“Wheat flour is an essential food item at the moment and some don’t have any alternative for that.”

The Government must at least promote traditional food items like sweet potato, jackfruit, and cassava/manioc if people are to survive, Sampath added.

Companies importing wheat flour have requested the Government to increase the retail price of imported wheat flour owing to import-related expenses they have to incur.

Speaking to The Morning, Ministry of Trade Secretary Bhadranie Jayawardhana noted that the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), in response, had informed the companies not to increase the price. “However, discussions regarding the matter are still underway with the companies,” she said.

Presently, the price of 1 kg of wheat flour is Rs. 105.