Staff Reporter : Failure to control the market syndicate in egg price manipulation and to ease its soaring demands because common people can hardly afford rich protein like meat due to rising food inflation, the government has now taken a stop gap measure allowing four companies to import four crore eggs.
The government believes that such steps would help reduce the spiraling of egg prices and make the supply of the item available in the market to make it stable.
A notification issued by the Ministry of Commerce on Sunday said the four companies are: Arnob Trading, Mrs Mim Enterprise, Prime Energy and Tiger Enterprise.
Before importing the eggs, the companies, however, must abide by certain guidelines including bird-flu and influenza-free certification from the source country and must pay the taxes.
When the egg market became volatile a few months ago and the product was becoming out of commoners’ reach as the entire market is under the control of syndicates, what the commerce minister Tipu Munshi said several times, the government warned the dishonest businessmen to make the price stable.
But nothing happened as the quarters were completely deaf to such warnings. The price of each egg became Tk15, making the whole situation out of control.
Finding no other ways to control the syndicate, which virtually shows the government’s weakness to keep a tab on the market players, the government finally set the price of an egg at Tk12.
But still this announcement is not working as eggs are being sold at whimsical price.
Under this situation, the government eventually allowed four companies to import four crore eggs.
The companies will mainly import eggs from India and some other countries including Indonesia and Azerbaijan.
The companies told the media that the current egg price will come down when they will import eggs. Most probably the price of an egg will be approximately Tk10.
They also said that it may take one week to import from neighbouring India after opening LCs.
Meanwhile Commerce Minister Tapan Kanti told the media on Monday that they did not fix the deadline of the import, but it has to be carried out within the shortest possible time. Currently, the price of four eggs is being sold at Tk 50-52.
Meanwhile, Directorate of National Consumer’s Rights Protection on Monday carried out their drivers in 73 markets by their 53 teams across the country and fined 131 shops and organisations for selling some items like potatoes, onions, eggs and saline for dengue treatment at higher prices violating the government rate fixed.