The price of bread will be increased by Rs. 3 and flour-based items by Rs. 1 from midnight today due to Thursday’s increase in the price of flour and the government’s refusal to reduce the cess on ingredients, bakery owners said yesterday.
All Island Bakery Owners’ Association President N.K. Jayawardena said several requests made to the government to reduce the cess of Rs.10 were turned down, leaving bakery owners to incur more losses due to increased transport costs and depreciation of the rupee.
The price of flour was increased by Rs. 8.50 a kilo on Thursday, raising the price of wheat flour to Rs. 97.50 a kilo. Mr. Jayawardena said nearly one million people were directly or indirectly involved in the bakery industry.
Although the government promoted rice-flour bread and claimed that rice production was high, little or no attempt had been made to increase rice-flour production, he said.