The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) has demanded punishment for those involved in the manipulation of egg prices in the aftermath of the recent fuel price hike.
Otherwise the entire business community will have to bear the responsibility for a few people's dishonesty, leaders of the apex trade body said during a meeting at their office in the capital on Monday.
Jasim Uddin, president of the federation, said, "We have to get out of this culture where the price of eggs will increase by Tk3 in a day and then drop again after the government's drives."
The price of eggs, which rose abnormally recently, has decreased after the drives of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP).
AHM Shafiquzzaman, director general (additional secretary) of the DNCRP, said, "We have collected information and are still collecting more. It is clear that the egg market was manipulated. Those who have done this have spoiled the reputation of the entire business community. The three-day drive has reduced the price of eggs by Tk30 to Tk35. It suggests a group has manipulated the market. Those who have done this will be sued by the directorate if necessary."
Moshiur Rahman, Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) president, claimed some 4 to 4.5 crore tonnes of eggs are produced every day. Of this, big companies produce only 30 lakh pieces, which is only 6% of the total production.
He argued this is why big companies could not manipulate the market even if they wanted to.
However, challenging this information, Salahuddin Alamgir, FBCCI vice president, said he had information that big companies produced about 40 lakh pieces of eggs, which is about 20% of the total production, and they could very well control the market.
Kazi Abdul Hannan, Bhokta Kantha editor, said in 14 days extra Tk268 crore was taken from the consumer from the egg market and Tk225 crore from the broiler chicken market.
He alleged that the extra money was collected at four levels before the food products reached the consumers.