The Trade Ministry yesterday stated the maximum selling price of a kilo chicken should be Rs. 1,250 and requested countrywide supermarkets to sell fresh chicken at this amount or less, unless it is imported.
Trade Minister Nalin Fernando told Sunday Observer Business that steps have not been taken so far to import fresh chicken since adequate stocks are available in the country.
The Trade Minister also urged supermarkets, trade centres and groceries countrywide to sell chicken at a reasonable price in par with the price structure already in place.
It is also reported that a few leading and reputed supermarket chains, private sector groceries and trade centres have ignored the trade Ministry’s request and sell chicken at over Rs. 1,250 a kilo. The price marked in supermarkets says one kilo of chicken is Rs. 1,600.
Considering the Government’s price control on chicken and to evade the price control rule some shop owners have taken undue advantage by selling only skinless chicken and chicken parts rather than the whole chicken, at exorbitant prices.
Therefore, the Minister again requested traders to refrain from selling chicken at over Rs. 1,250 and pass the benefit to consumers.
Minister Fernando said there is no reason to increase chicken prices at this juncture when the prices of several other essential consumer items have also been reduced in par with the decrease in the value of the US Dollar.
In an interview the All Ceylon Poultry Product Manufacturers Association (ACPPMA) said that poultry farmers sell chicken stocks to buyers at a very reasonable price but the chicken suppliers and traders sell them to customers at various prices.
When contacted, an official of a supermarket said that they have not revived a gazette in this regard. However, a Ministry spokesman said that a gazette was not needed since the chicken producers who met the minister agreed to provide chicken at less than Rs. 1,250.
“When the inflation is dipping, high handed acts of this nature are very discouraging.”
Meanwhile reports say that some super centres are not heeding to the request repeatedly made by the Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) and sell even many other consumer items beyond the CPA mentioned price.
The report states that some super centres also sell canned fish keeping a huge 37% profit.
While there is a drop in washing powder prices via special discounts, the local manufacturers have increased liquid milk prices at their own will while not passing any benefit to suppliers.