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Over 300 Ramazan Bazaars to Sell Poultry at Cheap Rates

25 June 2014

PAKISTAN - Poultry products will be available at reduced rates as compared to the open market in more than 340 Ramazan Bazaars to be set up in 36 districts across Lahore, with chicken prices to be reduced by Rs18 per kg, eggs to be cut by Rs12 per dozen and live chicken to be lowered by Rs12 per kg against the rates at the open market.

The Nation reports that an understanding was reached in this regard between Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) north zone chairman Raza Mehmmod Khasand and Punjab Livestock Dr Amir Ahmed in a meeting in the presence of Punjab Food Minister Bilal Yaseen.

As the holy month of Ramazan approaches and the profiteers are trying to hoard daily kitchen items in order to mint money, the PPA has decided join hands with the government to facilitate the public by providing poultry products at subsidized prices in Ramazan Bazaars in a bid to ease inflation, observed Mr Khasand. He assured the government that the PPA will provide a subsidy of Rs18 a kg on chicken and Rs12 on live chicken throughout the province, as compared to the open market.

He said that as a result of reduction in poultry and chicken rates in Ramazan Bazaars, even those districts would also benefit where there is negligible production of poultry. It is to be noted that the government has also assured the industry will not to interfere in poultry products rates in open market and let the market mechanism work independently.

According to industry experts, poultry prices fluctuate due to the demand-supply mechanism. As it is a perishable product and there is not enough storage facility available, it has to be sold immediately, irrespective of what price the farmer gets.

The PPA Northern Zone Chairman also said the budget for 2014-15 has suggested the imposition of a five per cent duty on Poultry Raw Material Import, five per cent duty on import of soybean meal and five per cent sales tax, which would hit not only the general public in terms of high prices of food items but also the poultry industry in Pakistan, which provides chicken and eggs on very nominal prices as compared to mutton and other protein sources. He said that the proposed taxes on poultry products in fiscal budget 2014-15 were unjustified.

He said that that in all developed and under-developed countries, including neighbouring India, there is no taxation on food items and even in Pakistan, the agricultural sector is exempted from taxes. Mr Khursand observed that presently, Pakistan’s normal import duty on import of chicken is only 25 per cent against India, which has slapped a 100 per cent import duty on chicken to protect its local industry. Chicken processing is the need of the day but Pakistan is processing just 3-4 per cent poultry while 90 per cent of poultry is sold raw.

“At present several poultry processing units are under progress in the country as the processing plants have been imported and construction is underway and if relaxed import policy continues billions of rupees in investment for the poultry processing industry will be shattered,” he stated.

He said Pakistan has approved the import of chicken meat from Brazil - currently the largest exporter of halal chicken in the world. The government will have to impose a 100 per cent duty on import of chicken products from any country in line with the Indian government, as it does not violate WTO rules, he pointed out.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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