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15 pc biscuit prices hike likely from May

By Staff
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Lucknow, Apr 20 (UNI) Biscuit Manufacturers Assocation (BMA) today threatened to hike prices of biscuits in the country by 15 per cent from next month, if the Centre and the states failed to withdraw taxes on the product.

''When there is no tax on bread and several other products, what is the reason for slapping 12.5 per cent tax under Value Added Tax (VAT) regime in the states,'' BMA vice-president Amol S Chauhan claimed here.

''If the government does not act accordingly, the industry will have to hike the price of nutrient biscuit by at least 15 per cent from next month,'' he announced.

Talking to newspersons, Mr Chauhan also urged the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav to waive all taxes on biscuits so that the poor -- the main beneficeries from low prices of nutrient biscuits -- could continue to get the product at subsidised price.

He said inspite of an average increase of over 55 per cent in input costs like wheat, sugar and vegetable oils, the industry had maintained the price of glucose biscuits at Rs 40 and Marie Biscuit at Rs 50 per kg for well over a decade now.

Mr Chauhan, who also is the director of Parle Products Pvt Ltd, said there is a need to distinguish between a rich man's treat and the common man's biscuit.

Priced at Rs 4 to Rs 5 per 100 grams, BMA claims, the low price high nutrition biscuits provide over 450 kilocalories of energy which is higher as compared to bread, butter, cheese, jam, namkeens and potato chips.

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