‘Officially Mutton is Rs 400 per KG’: Director FCS&CA
Srinagar, Mar 13: Despite rates fixed by the government, mutton retailers in Kashmir allegedly are selling meat at exorbitant rates without any fear, putting extra burden on the pockets of aam aadmi.
Director Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA), Bashir Ahmad told Kashmir In-depth News Service (KINS) that officially the rate of motton per Kg is 400.
“What is the purpose of issuing rates when the authorities are not able to control the mutton retailers? Butchers are openly selling meat at Rs 550 in market while FCS&CA is acting as mute spectator,” said Muneer Ahmad, a resident of Rajbagh in Srinagar.
“The administration has failed to curb the prices of mutton. Dealers are openly selling meat at higher rates,” said Habibulla, a resident of Bemina Srinagar.
Mohmmad Aslam, another customer from Khaniyar said that mutton rates are so high that most of the people find it unaffordable.
According to official estimates, Kashmir has consumes 5500 animals (sheep and goats) which is estimated to be around 70,000 kgs of meat.
Mutton prices have gone from Rs 125 in 2008 to Rs 340/kg in 2013 and now the retailers are selling it at Rs 550 per kg in 2020.
The hike in mutton rates is putting extra burden on pockets of common people.
One of the top officials in FCS&CA told KINS that the number of FIRs has been lodged against the violators.
“We are receiving complaints from different places. We have lodged FIRs and closed some shops. We are raiding the mutton retailers and take action against them. They have to adhere to the approved rate by the government,” he said.
Consumers also allege that the retailers are selling mutton at different prices at different places. “They sell it at Rs 500, Rs 550 and Rs 490.
However Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association said that prices of mutton have gone up over the last few years in Kashmir due to illegal meat sellers.
Association’s General Secretary Mehraj ud Din told Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS) that a huge quantity of mutton was being supplied to Kashmir “illegally” by people who were not actually the licence holders.
He said besides hitting the interests of the common consumers, the “illegal supply” of sheep to the Valley had affected the “genuine” and “real” mutton dealers here.
“We are a limited number of people having licenses to import the sheep. If unlicensed people who offer higher rates at the outside mandis and pass the burden on the common consumers don’t get into this field, we can see to it that commission agents are cut to their size and not allowed to exploit us.”
He appealed the government to check the practice of “illegal supply” and cancel the license of the dealers who have become “inactive.”
He suggested that all the license holders should be brought under scanner so that the practice of “misuse” of licenses is checked. (KINS)