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Political Link Alleged with Egg Price Hike

by 5m Editor
29 December 2010, at 9:22a.m.

ARMENIA - There are reports that the Agriculture Minister's resignation may be related to the recent surge in egg prices.

Agriculture Minister Gerasim Alaverdyan's resignation has raised doubts over whether it was related to the unprecedented surge in retail egg prices in the Armenian market, according to Armenian News Network.

At a briefing in parliament, the head of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs of the National Assembly of Armenia, Hakob Hakobyan, said that it is unlikely that the reason of Mr Alaverdyan's resignation be the increase of egg prices.

He said: "I don't think that agriculture minister's resignation is related to the surge in egg prices," said he, adding that the price increase of an agricultural product has nothing to do with the performance of a minister.

"This is probably related to industrial and economic relations."

He added that it is a warning that a lot needs to be changed in the sector.

Mr Hakobyan also claimed he has learned that when the egg prices slumped in summer, some of local poultry factories had to cut down the number of hens. The result, he said, there is a shortage of eggs now against the backdrop of increased demand prior to the New Year.

Khachik Harutyunyan, the head of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Environment, in turn, said that it is not the agriculture minister to blame for the increased egg prices.

He said: "It is not Gerasim Alaverdyan to blame for the egg shortage and increase in egg prices."

Armenia's State Commission for Protection of Economic Competition has a lot to do in this situation, he added. It should find out the "reasons of the price increase and hold the perpetrators responsible".

"We have never had a deficit in egg prices in the country. Just the contrary: we know that in previous years we would export eggs," he said, reports Armenian News Network.