Bhutan has temporarily suspended import of chicken and other poultry products from its sole Indian supplier following "abnormally high" retail prices when sold within the country.
Trade Director Sonam P Wangdi said a monopoly in the supply was encouraging price hike. Till now, poultry products to the Himalayan Kingdom came from Arambagh.
"It is an abnormal situation with only a few players. The supplier is not in compliant with the governments rule in having a transparent pricing system and in appointing dealers," Wangdi was quoted as saying by the state-run newspaper Kuensel.
The price of chicken is 70 Nu (Bhutanese currency) (nearly Rs 70) a kg in the border town of Jaigaon but increases to Nu 80 by the time it enters Phuentsholing (in Bhutan) and soars to Nu 120-140 when it reaches Thimphu, Bhutan's capital.
To ensure that Bhutanese consumers are not exploited, Wangdi said, while chicken in Phuentsholing should be sold at Indian rates, the trade department would fix a fair price within the country.
Negotiations between Bhutanese officials and Arambagh traders are on. "If we fail to come to an agreement, we will have to close the arrangement," Wangdi said, adding a team had recently visited Kolkata and identified some new suppliers.