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Guyana Lifts Duty on Imported Chicken

22 June 2012, at 7:09am

GUYANA - The Ministry of Commerce has waived the import duty on chicken meat to a number of traders for a limited period.

After weeks of monitoring prices in an effort to ensure the market remains stable, the ministry of industry and commerce says 12 persons have been granted approval to import one million pounds of chicken for a three month period.

National Communications Network of Guyanya (NCN) reports the acting commerce and Industry Minister, Irfan Ali, saying that he has taken this step in an effort to combat the scarcity of the commodity on the local market. A noticeable and sweeping increase in the price for chicken has been recorded locally in recent weeks.

The Ministry of commerce says the importers were granted a 50 per cent waiver on duty instead of the 60 per cent requested for permission to import one million pounds, over the next six months.

The licences will expire on 12 September 2012 to prevent hoarding of permits by persons who may be inclined to capitalise in the future.

The Ministry says this will be regularly reviewed to ensure consumers can obtain the commodity in adequate supply and at affordable prices. He added that the normal weekly consumption is usually 900 pounds however, recent evaluations have established that the weekly consumption has climbed to about 1.3 million pounds.

Minister Ali said: “In the next six weeks, we will have a further assessment of the sector to ensure that the situation would have stabilised if we still have a shortage.”

Similar sentiments were also expressed by Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon, at his Post-Cabinet Briefing. He said prices are spiking mainly in Demerara as consumers are now paying between 350 and 400 cedi (GHS) per pound for chicken.

Mr Ali added: “Apparently, poultry meat is going to the hinterland. Shortage on the cost which led to the price increase Cabinet agreed to imports."

When NCN visited markets around Georgetown earlier in the month, many vendors explained that the escalating prices are due to a glut experienced in the market. They added that the increase is a normal phenomenon after such an occurrence.