I WAS shocked to read recently that a popular bread producer will be increasing the prices of 38 of its bakery products by about 10%, effective from Dec 1. The company cited rising costs of raw materials as reasons for the impending increase.
Bread is the cheapest breakfast one can find. A loaf of bread is able to fill the stomachs of an average family. Bread is a basic necessity and, hence, its price is controlled by the authorities. The producer cannot unilaterally increase the price without consulting the authorities.
An increase in the price of bread would trigger a chain reaction over the prices of other basic items. In addition, the price increase comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic shows little sign of abating.
The public, whose income has been severely affected by the pandemic, is still struggling to make ends meet.
We have been recently hit by a hike in prices for chicken and vegetables. It is difficult for us to stomach another price increase on basic necessities.
We do not need an accountant to tell us that the cost of producing bread decreases when the volume of production increases. I am sure there is an increase in bread production volume during the pandemic, where people have opted for a cheaper breakfast.
I urge the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to put on hold the price increase of bread before any agreement is reached with the producer. The authorities should run the show and not the other way around.
WONG SOO KAN