Errant egg traders on the mat | Sunday Observer
CAA comes down hard on ‘bad eggs’ in the market

Errant egg traders on the mat

4 September, 2022

The chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), Attorney-at-Law Shantha Niriella told the Sunday Observer yesterday that the CAA’s district officials and investigators have taken in for questioning and charged over 75 errant businessmen for selling eggs at prices higher than those stipulated by the Authority in the recent Gazette.

Magistrates have fined them more than Rs. 7. 5 million, he said. Errant egg traders, he said, would face fines ranging from Rs. 100,000 - Rs. 500,000 from now. The relief period of one week is now over.

He was responding to our question whether it was legitimate for the CAA to give a relief period to egg traders after a Maximum Retail Price (MRP) - (Rs. 43 for white eggs and Rs. 45 for brown eggs) was published in the Gazette.

“We gave that relief period to respect fundamental justice principles, so that there would be time to raise awareness about the MRP of eggs,” he said, adding, “We took legal action against those engaged in overpriced selling after the one week’s grace period had passed.”

“Most of the time, the Courts fined them Rs 100,000. In one case, a Magistrate in Balangoda imposed a fine of Rs. 400,000 for selling four eggs at a higher price. “This was the highest fine the Courts have imposed so far for this offence,” he said.

CAA’s Western Province Regional Affairs Assistant Director G. D. Samarakoon said that during the grace period the majority of egg sellers sold eggs at Rs.50.

“The Authority will ensure that the prices for white eggs is reduced to Rs. 43 and brown eggs to Rs. 45. Raids are taking place all over the country,” he said.

When asked how egg producers reacted to the CAA’s call for lowering egg prices, CAA Chairman Niriella said, “They criticised us. They even told us at stakeholder meetings that we are not interested in their side of the story.”