PETALING JAYA: Egg prices can go down further if hypermarkets are allowed to import eggs directly, says the head of the Mydin chain.
Ameer Ali Mydin said hypermarkets are competitive in nature. “We compete among ourselves to be seen as the cheaper alternative. And when we bring down the prices, everyone has to follow suit,” he told FMT.
He cited as an example the drop in prices of Covid-19 test kits when the government allowed hypermarkets to sell them.
He said this when asked to comment on Putrajaya’s move to study floating the price of eggs and providing subsidies for the B40 group, those at the bottom rung of the income ladder.
Ameer said the market should be allowed to set prices.
Although controls on food imports were lifted last year by then prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the order did not cover eggs.
Economist Carmelo Ferlito of the Center for Market Education said price controls create shortages and make inflation worse by prolonging inflationary pressures.
He suggested that people in the B40 group be given purchase vouchers instead of cash aid. Such a system would ensure that aid distribution was more targeted and would provide more freedom for consumers to choose what they buy.