The meeting on Wednesday between the Minister of Trade and the representatives of the Association of Bakery Owners concluded in favor of consumers. The price will not be raised, but this will be to the detriment of the bakeries. The Minister rejected their proposals to increase the Scheduled Bread to Rs 4.09.
The misfortune of some bakeries will make the people happy! Minister Soodesh Callichurn was clear, “I am not negotiating under pressure” he said while speaking about the government’s firm intention to retain the prices of Scheduled Breads.
Nasseer Moraby was sympathetic to the decision, “We too do not want to impose this hike on the consumers. We have submitted our costing and asked the Minister to find new solutions for us. He promised to come back to us with a good answer within two weeks, as soon as the Prime Minister returns home.” Indeed, the Prime Minister is attending the 26th Commonwealth Summit in Rwanda, which ends this Saturday. The proposals of the Bakery Owners Association will be discussed at the council of the Ministers.
“We are waiting for a solution that will absorb all the latest increases in our production costs,” said Nasseer Moraby. Thus, the Association has proposed a new subsidy on the price of A10 flour, inputs and improvers, such as salt, oil, yeast and diesel, among others, for the continued production of the Scheduled Bread category. They have also proposed that the government takes the total control of all the ingredients and components in the production of Scheduled Breads. “Without new subsidies, the problem will remain, and it will be difficult for bakeries to produce the Scheduled Bread and charge the current prices for 100g, 200g and 400g. The government should monitor every input for better parity in subsidies. Working at a loss does not suit anyone”, says the President of the Association. For the time being, the bakeries will not threaten for any more strikes or closures, and will not cease the production of the Pain Maison, Round Bread and Baguettes of 200g and 400g. The Association of Bakery Owners has in mind to switch exclusively to the production of luxury breads.
All’s well that ends well? The answer will come after the Cabinet’s decision. The Minister has indicated that the demands in the Association’s proposal will be studied.