Tug-of-War between egg producers and Minister

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Minister of Trade, Commerce and Food Security and the egg producers engaged in a tug-o-war over the recent Gazette issued on egg prices.

Following the egg producers’ warning that they will suspend egg distribution as they could not agree with the maximum retail price set by Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), Minister Nalin Fernando stressed if the egg distribution is suspended and stockpiled, the eggs will be confiscated and released to the market through Lanka Sathosa.

He said legal actions will be taken against businessmen who do not sell eggs at the maximum retail price set by the government.

When queried whether there is any intention to import eggs to control prices, the minister said that it depends on the next steps of local egg producers.

The minister further said that if the local manufacturers do not produce eggs, steps should be taken to import eggs.

Meanwhile, though a group of officials from the All Ceylon Egg Producers’ Association (ACEPA) had visited the PM’s Office yesterday (22) to discuss the stipulation of a certified price for eggs with PM Dinesh Gunawardena they had not been able to meet him.

When the ACEPA officers had gone to the PM’s Office, at Flower Road, the latter had gone for an official event pertaining to the Ministry of Public Administration.

When contacted a source from the PM’s Office stated that the representatives from the ACEPA had arrived at the PMs Office sans prior notice.

Speaking later, President of the ACEPA Sarath Ratnayake warned that if the government fails to quote a reasonable price encompassing the material cost factor for eggs, they will be forced to opt out of the business.

He added that if the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) fails to withdraw the Gazette Notification issued stipulating a certified price for eggs there would be no use in further being engaged in the trade.

By Tharaka Samman and Amith Gamage