Flour prices have to be increased because monopoly holders Prima and Serendib have to pump money for the presidential election campaign, charged NPP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake.
Speaking in parliament yesterday (19), he slammed the government for taking certain decisions that have allowed the two companies to control the wheat flour market.
As per a special gazette issued on 14 June and by letter dated 16 June by the import controller, a ban is imposed on the import of wheat flour without import licenses.
The two multinational companies have been given the monopoly to meet the wheat flour requirements by importing the grain and producing flour.
Dissanayake said that these two companies sell wheat flour in the market at a price as high as Rs. 210 per kg, while paying a tax of mere Rs. 3.00 per kg of wheat grain they import.
The price of wheat grains and flour are decreasing very fast in the world market, while the dollar too has depreciated.
Instead of passing on that advantage to the consumers, the government issued a gazette to suspend the import of wheat flour.
He accused Sagala Ratnayaka, senior adviser and chief of presidential staff, of interfering with taxes on wheat flour which is the responsibility of the Finance Ministry.