ashmir is not the only place where meat is consumed. There are people who take more meat than us. But it is a fact that meat makes an important, and inalienable part, of our diet chart. In this background the absence of meat in the market for almost four months now was a significant issue.
The stalemate over the prices was going on for over four months, and ended yesterday after the final decision was taken by the administration. The deadlock over the prices ended after a fact-finding team— led by Co-chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Farooq Dar with officials from food and civil supplies department, journalists, mutton dealers, etc visited mandis outside, on their return, the team informed the government that dealers get mutton at Rs 518 per Kilogram.
The government sets the price as 535, but it is worth to watch who will follows the government issued rate list. We know the mutton sellers sell mutton at the choicest of price and the authorities watch as mute spectators. There is a metrology department which fixes the rate and quality, now let’s see what they will do in coming days.
According to the report, the mutton trade has an annual turnover of Rs 23,000 crore in J&K. About 25 vehicles reach the valley on a daily basis from different Mandis. Interestingly, of the 320 lakh kg annual consumption of mutton in the Valley, authorities claim that Kashmir produces 120 lakh kg while the rest 200 lakh kg is brought in from outside Jammu and Kashmir.
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The thing which is important to mention here is that, ever since the pay revision happened for the employees the price of mutton has shot up exponentially. The unorganized sector still works on the same wages. Their purchasing power is at the lowest ebb. The carpenters, masons, labourers can not afford to buy mutton at such a heavy price.
After some time the prices settle and people buy the item at the new prices. The point is why don’t the concerned authorities settle this matter once for all by setting some standards and educating people about the whole thing. Why we are repeatedly caught in this situation. This issue has involved civil society, media, and administration for decades now. It surfaces up again and again. Why don’t we have a transparent, and a professional, way of fixing the prices.
The government must control the rising prices of mutton. For the simple fact that the government is establishing the price, it is mandatory upon government to see to it that the prices are implemented in letter and spirit.