Colombo: The price of a 450-gram loaf of bread will be hiked by Rs 20 from midnight Wednesday while other bakery items will see a price increase of Rs 10 in crisis-hit Sri Lanka due to a spike in the cost of wheat flour, an industry association announced on Tuesday.
The decision to hike the prices was taken due to an increase in the price of a kilogram of wheat flour by Rs 32 on Monday, Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror news website quoted the All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association President N.K. Jayawardena as saying.
A kilogram of wheat flour previously priced at Rs 84.50 in the market is now sold at more than Rs 300, the association president explained.
”The rupee value against the dollar does not exceed Rs 400, but the flour price has increased to Rs 300 in the local market, and thereby the price of wheat flour has gone up by 400 percent,” Jayawardena said.
Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is under the grip of unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel, and other essentials.
Schools have been suspended and fuel has been limited to essential services. Patients are unable to travel to hospitals due to the fuel shortage and food prices are soaring.
President Gotabya Rajapaksa has officially conveyed to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that he will resign on July 13 as previously announced, the PM Office said on Monday, days after protesters stormed both leaders’ homes in rage over the government’s mishandling of the country’s worst economic crisis.
Protesters since Saturday continue to occupy the three main buildings in the capital, the President’s House, the presidential secretariat, and the prime minister’s official residence Temple Trees.
The country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, had announced in April that it is suspending nearly USD 7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about USD 25 billion due through 2026. Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt stands at USD 51 billion.