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Traders using tricks to flout price cap on eggs

by tbhdesk

Traders sell small eggs at govt-fixed price
Customers tend to opt for larger eggs by paying more

The government has recently set the price of eggs to stop unfair practices in the market–an egg has to be sold at Tk12, meaning sellers cannot charge customers more than Tk144 for a dozen eggs.

Despite this, some traders have been tricking customers and selling only small-sized eggs for Tk12, ignoring the government’s regulations, and demanding more money for bigger eggs.

On a visit to several kitchen markets in Mirpur on Friday, this correspondent observed that traders were categorizing eggs into three sizes: small, medium and large. To purchase eggs at the government-fixed price, customers must opt for small-sized eggs, priced at Tk144 per dozen or Tk12 apiece.

Medium-sized eggs cost Tk150 per dozen, equivalent to Tk12.50 for one, while large eggs were Tk155 per dozen or around Tk13 for an egg.

Apart from this, grocers were selling one egg for Tk14 or a dozen for Tk160.

When asked about the price difference, Sohel, a trader at Mirpur’s Bauniabandh Market, said: “An egg costs us Tk11.40, including transportation expenses from wholesalers. Some eggs break during transportation, and customers also break a few while buying. We ended up selling these damaged eggs for Tk5-10. It is hard to make a profit selling them at the government-fixed price of Tk12.

“Not only that, most eggs are smaller now, but customers prefer larger ones. If we only sell small eggs, customers go to other stores. So I offer both big and small eggs to meet their preferences.”

Another egg vendor in Mirpur, seeking anonymity, said: “A profit can be made while factoring in transportation and other expenses if wholesalers sell eggs for Tk11 apiece. Moreover, if they come to us prepackaged, customers do not have the option to choose which eggs they buy. Some time back, we used to stock packaged eggs from a company, but customers showed no interest in buying them. They prefer to pick their eggs, even if it means paying a bit more. That is why, to avoid the hassle, we carefully pick the eggs we keep in our store.”

“On the flip side, due to a Tk5 price difference, customers tend to opt for larger eggs over smaller ones,” he added.

Abdul Bashir, a customer, said: “Egg prices are already high. What is the use of getting small eggs?”

On the other hand, Aklima Akter, an elderly shopper buying broken eggs, said: “In the past, I would make egg curry when there was nothing else. Now with the egg prices rising, I can not even follow my doctor’s advice to eat a boiled egg every day. I have to make do with broken eggs.”

Source: Dhaka Tribune.

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