The Milk Powder Importers’ Association says the Cost of Living Committee has agreed to increase the price of a 1kg of powdered milk pack by Rs.200.
Speaking to media, Member of the Association Lakshman Weerasuriya said the Cabinet of Ministers is expected to grant its final approval when it meets on Monday.
Weerasuriya said they had proposed to the government to increase the price of a 1kg of milk powder pack by Rs.350 as importers are facing many issues due to the US dollar shortage in the country.
He said despite the approval to increase the price of powdered milk from next Tuesday, the price may have to be increased again in another six months due to the prevailing crisis.
Weerasuriya said they only requested for the powdered milk to be increased in line with the rise in the global market from US$ 3 to US$ 4.10 which is 40 percent adding all companies are operating under heavy losses and are running by obtaining overdraft facilities from banks to pay salaries of employees.
Weerasuriya said they will still suffer a loss of Rs.150 per kg even with the approval to increase prices adding they agreed to the increase considering the consumers.
Commenting on the crisis faced by milk powder importers, Weerasuriya said they had discussions with the relevant Ministers and the Consumer Affairs Authority for six months.
He said the current price of Rs.945 per kg had been prepared considering 1kg of powdered milk at US$ 3 while a dollar at Rs.186.
He said however, 1kg of powdered milk has increased by 40 percent to US$ 4.10 while the US dollar is now at Rs.238.
Weerasuriya said banks offered dollars at the rates of Rs.228, Rs.232. Rs.234 adding however by last week a US dollar was Rs.238 while paying Rs.203 to the bank and Rs.35 to the account owner.
Weerasuriya said they were unable to maintain the business at a loss of Rs.350 per 1kg of powdered milk.
He said they agreed with the government’s proposed increase considering the public and requested for a US dollar to be given at Rs.203.