Mutton wholesalers and retailers say that government has taken unilateral decision on rates
By: Tariq Shah VOV
Mutton shops in Srinagar city are open but most of them are saying that the recent rates set by the administration of mutton at Rs 480 (retail) and Rs 450 (wholesale) in Kashmir, are not acceptable to them. They say that wholesalers are giving them the mutton at a higher price and this clash of prices will finally force them to close their shops.
“If the government is certain that these are the rates, they should intervene at the wholesale level and give us mutton at such rates that we can sell the same to the customers at the ground level”
said Bilal Ahmad Ganai, who has a meat shop at Dalgate.
Like Bilal many other mutton shop owners have similar problems with wholesalers as they are getting the mutton at the higher prices. Most of them want the JK administration to take further steps in order to streamline the markets.
Recently the government decided to fix the price for the mutton in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir while most of the mutton shops are still selling the mutton at the earlier prices giving the reason for wholesalers for the hike.
An official spokesman recently said that the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir Pandurang K Pole chaired a meeting of Rate Fixation Committee and fixed rates of mutton at Rs 480 (retail) and Rs 450 as (wholesale) rates in Kashmir.
At the outset, the Div Com said that rates have been fixed after taking all factors including, production cost, transportation, processing, cutting and all other charges into consideration, the official spokesman said.
He said that now onwards mutton rates shall be revised annually as per government’s wholesale pricing index, said the official statement.
Government said that there should be strict implementation of official rates, the Div Com said that stringent action including FIRs shall be registered against mutton dealers/ butchers if found selling mutton on higher rates or resorting to any kind of violations against the official rates.
It is in place to mention despite claims by the administration that local production has increased; Kashmir is still importing 70 per cent mutton from other states.
While the mutton shop owners are putting the blame on the wholesalers the government has already appealed to wholesale dealers to buy mutton as per the rate list from outside mandis or dealers from different states to avoid overcharging or black marketing of the mutton.
The government should intervene and keep a close eye on the wholesalers of mutton so that the mutton shops do not face the brunt of police action as already many of them are facing FIRs in different police stations for violating the latest rate list of the government.