Jan 26, Colombo: The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) which met yesterday (Jan. 25) under the chairmanship of Prof. Ranjith Bandara held a four-pointer discussion as an extension of the Committee meeting held on January 19.
Accordingly, the Committee looked into the following extensively;
1. Recommendation to estimate the cost of production reasonably for the purpose of setting a fair price for eggs in the market.
Given the directive at the previous COPE meeting held, the Secretaries to the Ministries of Trade and Agriculture, today, presented a price formula to determine the price of an egg having calculated the relevant cost of an egg accordingly.
Having discussed the formula presented and the matter of concern in depth, the Committee Chairman (Prof.) Ranjith Bandara instructed the respective officials to revisit the pricing formula due to various practicality concerns in applying the formula presented.
The officials present stated that they shall revisit the pricing formula taking into consideration all matters discussed at the Committee meeting held.
2. Extensive discussion pertaining to the securing of the domestic poultry industry
COPE was of the view that the domestic poultry industry should be secured to which the officials present accorded.
COPE reveled that domestic producers representing the poultry industry conveyed to the Committee that if the price of an egg can be kept at Rs. 51 for a period of 1 ½ months until the poultry industry can be stabilized, the price of an egg can be reduced thereafter.
The Committee was also of the view that whilst considering protecting the poultry industry, the respective authorities should also look at the context from the perspective of the consumer and act fair by all parties.
3. Scrutiny presided over the egg shortage in the market.
It was disclosed at COPE that there exists a temporary dearth of approximately 3 million eggs per day. The officials present stated that there is no precipitated process in the poultry industry as a solution to this. Therefore, officials stated that it has been agreed upon to import a limited number of eggs to the industry in consideration of the consumer.
4. Attention extended on providing eggs to consumers at a fair price.
Taking into consideration all factors presented before COPE, the Committee was of the view that all efforts must be made to find a solution to the matter at discussion which is fair by the consumer.
Accordingly, the Committee Chairman Prof. Ranjith Bandara instructed the respective officials to inform the public of the measures taken and to reassure that all parties are collectively working towards finding a practical solution to the matters of concern.
Members of Parliament Patali Champika Ranawaka, Nimal Lanza, Jagath Kumara Sumithraarachchi, Premnath C. Dolawatte, Madhura Withanage, Prof. Charitha Herath as well as high officials representing the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Food Security, Ministry of Agriculture, Consumer Affairs Authority and other respective institutions were present at the Committee meeting held.
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