Has CAA approved milk price increases, ask consumers
Consumers have been further burdened with the increase in milk food
prices and more companies awaiting approval for a price revision from
the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA).
Retailers say that the prices of consumer items including milk food
products are increased suddenly and whether approval has been sought
from the authorities is questionable.
Consumers complain that they have not been informed of price
increases and that prices of consumer items are exorbitantly high.
When the 'Sunday Observer' contacted the officials of the CAA they
declined to comment and referred us to the Minister of Trade and
Commerce whom they said is aware of the issue.
Trade and Commerce Minister Bandula Gunawardana said he was not aware
of unauthorised increases in prices of milk food products and that he
would look into the matter.
Some milk food companies have called upon the CAA to approve a 10
percent increase on 450g packets of milk powder.
The company owners say they are compelled to increase prices due to
the price of a metric tonne of milk powder in the world market going up
from US$ 2,900 to US$ 5,000. If approval is granted the price of a 450g
packet will increase by Rs. 50.
Customer Service Manager Nestle Anura Karunatilake said the company
had obtained approval to increase the price of its 400g and 1000g
packets of milk powder by Rs. 8 with the despatch of the new stocks.
Karunatilake attributed the price increase to the escalating world
market price of milk powder and the depreciation of the rupee against
the dollar. Former Chairman, National Livestock Development Board and
present Chairman of Pelwatte Dairy A.
Wickramanayake said if local milk production is increased people will
not have to spend on imported milk foods where prices fluctuate
according to world market prices.
The cows should be used to increase milk production and not for
slaughter. Over 5,000 milk cows are slaughtered daily which is a huge
waste of resources the country could save, he said.
The CAA approved a maximum retail price of Rs. 215 on a 450g packet
of Nespray milk powder last month.
The CAA has not given approval to Maliban Biscuits Manufacturers Ltd.
to increase the prices of its milk powder but prices in the local market