Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz resisted pressure this week from egg firms and farmers to increase the cost to consumers of price-controlled eggs by about 5%, sources close to the discussions say.

In recent weeks, egg industry representatives lobbied senior officials at the Finance Ministry to get the price hike approved, say the sources. The efforts were coupled with lobbying to raise price-controlled dairy prices as well.

As a result of the pressure, say the sources, the Finance Ministry sought a formal legal opinion from Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein over whether it was possible to raise the retail cost of price-controlled eggs and dairy products.

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira asked recently that the retail price of dairy products under price supervision not be hiked at least until consideration is given to his report recommending a change in the price adjustment formula on dairy products. Shapira had expressed concern that the current formula results in unjustified price increases. The comptroller did not address suggestions that egg prices be raised.