KATHMANDU, Feb 8: The Department of Commerce Supplies and Consumer Protection has announced that it will monitor the market to control the recent chicken price hike. The retail price of chicken increased to Rs 410 per kg on Wednesday whereas it declined to Rs 375 per kg on Friday. A month ago, the retail price of chicken was Rs 360 per kg.
The department is preparing to monitor the market and punish those who may have been involved in the culling of chicks to increase the price of chicken in the market. Nepal Chicken Sellers Association determines the price of chicken but the price determined by the association is seldom followed by the meat shops in the Kathmandu Valley.
Netra Prasad Subedi, director general of the Department of Commerce Supplies and Consumer Protection said, “Our teams are going for regular field inspection to monitor the market, we will also punish those involved in culling of chicks to increase the price of meat.”
“I have visited various meat shops today and the price range of chicken varies from shop to shop. Some were selling meat in high range of Rs 400 per kg while some shopkeepers were found selling chicken for Rs 375 per kg, so we will also monitor price leveling,” said Subedi.
Last month, poultry entrepreneurs destroyed six million chicks across the country and hatcheries stopped producing chicks for 10 days to increase the price of chicken by bringing down supplies in the market. They defended their move stating that it was necessary to get return on their investment.
“We will punish those who were intentionally involved in culling of chicks to increase the price of chicken and our team is working on it. It is a big matter and requires proper inspection and time to know the real reason behind the increase in price of chicken,” said Banshi Sharma, director general of the Department of Livestock Services.
However, Prem Lal Maharjan President of National Consumer Forum has criticized the government's effort to inspect and reduce the price of chicken.
“The price of chicken reaching the range of Rs 400 is a big thing. After the price of chicken increased to Rs 400, we went to various cold stores for inspection and found various prices for chicken. We even put pressure on the government about this skyrocketing prices and today the price of chicken has declined to Rs 375 per kilogram which is an achievement and a progress. It shows that if there is proper monitoring of market and inspection then the price will decrease. If the government had worked more on this matter then the price would have decreased earlier,” said Maharjan.