Puea Thai Party Slams Egg Policy

THAILAND - The opposition Puea Thai Party says the government's policy that chicken eggs can be sold by the kilogramme, instead of individually or in packs, will eliminate jobs for poor people.
calendar icon 27 January 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

Puea Thai MP for Lop Buri province Suchart Lainamngern said on Thursday the government's Pracha Wiwat welfare scheme, which includes selling eggs by weight instead of by piece, would eliminate eight or nine areas of work opportunity for poor people.

Some job losses would be in the areas of egg carton producers and grilled egg sellers, according to Bangkok Post. People would not want to eat grilled eggs if they were sold by the kilogramme, Mr Suchart said.

"The plan will help the rich and hurt the poor," he said.

He said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva introduced the new egg pricing policy because he was afraid that people would criticise him for allowing eggs to be sold at expensive prices, or about four to five baht a piece.

"Does the prime minister listen to the people? Instead of concentrating of solving the issues of low rice prices and flooding, he thinks about selling eggs by the kilogramme.

"About 62 per cent of respondents to a survey don't support this policy," the MP said.

He advised the government to scrap the plan if it wants to avoid being embarrassed in front of the global community.

However, Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai defended the egg pricing plan, saying selling eggs by the kilogramme would definitely work out cheaper for consumers than buying them by the piece. A kilogramme would consist of 50 to 52 eggs.

"This is an alternative for the people at this time, when the cost of living is high," Mrs Porntiva said.

She said the government would re-assess the policy after three months.

"This is a testing period and the government is not closing off any options," she said.

Prime Minister Abhisit said the government was not forcing people to sell or buy eggs by weight, it was suggesting a new way of selling them.

People can still buy eggs the conventional way if they want to, Mr Abhisit said.

"Consumers who are not concerned about the size of the egg can buy them at lower prices.

"The new pricing system has been tested in markets in Minburi and Rangsit and it has proven popular," he said.

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