The first stock of eggs imported from India by Sri Lanka was distributed to the crisis-hit island nation's market, with one egg costing Rs 35 to bakery owners, a media report said on Friday. Sri Lanka imported two million eggs from India to ensure food security in the crisis-hit island nation, Trade and Food Safety Minister Nalin Fernando said last week.
The decision to import eggs was based on a decision by a cabinet committee to ensure food security, Fernando said on March 23. This stock of eggs imported by Sri Lanka's State Trading (General) Corporation was distributed among bakery owners on Thursday at the Kerawalapitiya Spet R. Warehouse Complex, the official Daily News reported. All-Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association President N. K. Jayawardena said that one million eggs were given to bakery owners at Rs 35 per egg.
He said that this stock of eggs imported from India had been brought to Sri Lanka subject to approvals of all relevant government institutions. The date of manufacture of the eggs distributed among bakery owners was mentioned as March 18, 2023 and the date of expiry was June 15, 2023.
All-Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association President said that now egg producers in Sri Lanka should begin marketing eggs at competitive prices, adding that in the future eggs will be imported for bakeries, hotels, and restaurants. He said, accordingly, it would be possible to reduce the price of bakery products in the future. Jayawardena thanked Trade and Food Safety Minister Fernando and other officials for taking this action on behalf of consumers.
Sri Lanka was hit by an unprecedented financial crisis in 2022, the worst since its independence from Britain in 1948, due to a severe paucity of foreign exchange reserves, sparking political turmoil in the country that led to the ouster of the all-powerful Rajapaksa family.
Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $3 billion bailout programme to help Sri Lanka overcome its economic crisis and catalyse financial support from other development partners. Last week, Sri Lanka received $330 million as the first tranche of the IMF bailout programme.