fter a tug of war starting in the month of November, butcher’s community have succeeded in making mincemeat of the agreement with government regarding rates of mutton.
Come holy month of Ramadan and the mutton lobby once again ruling the roost selling mutton @ Rs 600 and even dearer in some parts of valley.
Some butchers confessed to Good Morning Kashmir that below par quality which is known in butcher community as Army supply/Ladakh supply which been stored and sold @Rs 535 to deceive authorities.
Sources said in other districts of Kashmir also, the government approved rate is not adhered to.
Non availability of meat force consumers to buy alternatives like chicken but the rates which have soared to all time high presently @ Rs 160 per kg disappoint them further.
Butchers at some places are hell bent to defy government rate list as half a dozen mutton sellers are facing more than one FIRs lodged against them. The shops of butchers can be seen open now during the day displaying only remnants of sheep and without owner of the shop. It is learnt they sell the mutton early mornings inside their homes at exorbitant rates and put remains of animals in the shop thereby deceiving the consumers and government alike.
What has made things worse for the people is that the price-hike has come amidst the Holy month of Ramadhan when meat consumption increases in the Valley. People lamented that the Government’s failure to keep the prices under check has increased their woes.
“I purchased meat for Rs 600 per KG; the meat seller simply told me that it was not possible for him to sell at government fixed rates,” Zubair Bhat of Hyderpora said.
One of the butcher told GMK that none of any butcher can sell mutton on government rates. Adding that they are getting 556 as a wholesale rate from dealers.
“We are getting 556 as a wholesale rate, so how will we sell at 535? We have talked to the mutton dealers to provide us mutton as per government rates and only when they provide us at that rate can we start selling. Till that time we cannot suffer losses,” said one of the butcher on conditions of anonymity.
Director, FS&CA, Bashir Ahmad Khan did not received call from this reporter despite many attempts. However, an official inside the department said they have fixed per kg mutton price at Rs 535. “Since March we have fixed the price 535 per kg, and since than we have taken action against scores of erring mutton sellers. The action will continue in the coming days too.
“We urge people to come forward and lodge complaints against those who are overcharging as otherwise their silence embolden violators. We are here for public and nobody will be allowed to loot public. Overcharging won’t be taken easily. It is the responsibility of consumers to complain against those who overcharge, we assure them of strict action,” he said.