Increase in import duty on sugar to impact business. A few traders feel the prices may also shoot up further if the Centre increases the price of LPG refill in the next few months.
Foodies should be ready to dig deeper into their pockets as yummy sweets will become costlier following the Centre’s decision to increase the import duty on sugar.
Sweet manufacturers say that the prices would increase from five to 10 per cent due to the Central government’s decision to raise sugar import duty to 40 per cent from the existing 15 per cent. In addition to this, the prices of milk were also increased in Krishna district. These two factors would be contributing to the increase in sweet prices as milk and sugar are the most important ingredients for preparing sweets, traders complain.
For instance, five kg of sugar, 10 litres of milk, corn and cardamom powder, vanilla flavour are required for preparing Bengal’s favourite savoury - ‘rasogolla’. It is now sold for Rs.20 a piece. Following the rise in milk and sugar prices, it will cost Rs.25 a piece. Traders say they prepare 25 varieties of sweets which also include famous desserts in Bengal and Delhi and the cost ranges between Rs.240 and Rs.1,000 per kg.
Traders say ‘laddus’, ‘madathakajas’ and ‘jangiri’’ will now come under minimum range category costing around Rs. 204 per kg, while sweets made with almond and cashew nut under maximum range category, costing over Rs.1,000. Bengali sweets like dry ‘gulab jamun’, mini ‘gulab jamun’, dry ‘rasogolla’, ‘kala gulab jamun’ and ‘kesari basundi’, among other categories are now costing between Rs.320 and Rs.400.
“The hiked price of sugar would certainly show a cost variation between five to 10 per cent on sweets,” explains Swaghura Foods proprietor C. Madhubabu.
A few traders feel the prices may also shoot up further if the Centre increases the price of LPG refill in the next few months. They rue that unscheduled power cuts in the city were also affecting the process of making sweets.