by Khalid Bashir Gura
Mutton is gradually getting unaffordable as the rears have increased the price, mutton dealers alleged. They say the government is not invoking the law to bring parity in the mutton process.
In Kashmir, mutton is being sold much above the rates announced by the government. In certain cases, it is a high as Rs 500 against the officially approved rate of Rs 400 per kilogram.
Mehraj-u-din Ganai, general secretary All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers said the high prices of mutton in retail markets are setting a bad precedent.
He said that meat consumption is being made unaffordable for common people despite the fact that Kashmiri’s are huge meat consumers.
“There are people who have vested interested to promote such unfair practices. Outside the state, there are mafias in the meat market, who are relentless with unfair rates. When objected for such rates they are undeterred,’’ Ganai said.
“Why isn’t mutton control act being implemented? Why is there so much of variance in rates? Why can’t government control the prices so that it becomes affordable for common Kashmiri to pay for meat?,” Ganai questioned.
He alleged the CAPD department for its apathy towards regulating prices and making a common man pay for its vested interests. “It seems it is a way of destroying our economy,’’ said Ganai.
High prices of mutton in the retail market caused outrage among people who flayed authorities for failing to keep a check on overpricing.
Zubair Ahmad, a consumer from Srinagar said that mutton prices are becoming unaffordable.
“I have to buy meat every day because I have a patient at home but high prices make it unaffordable. Earlier it wasn’t so. As marriage season is approaching it seems that in coming days we may have to pay exorbitantly,” he said.
“The government is acting as a mute spectator to this unfair practice irrespective of peoples suffering,” he added.
When contacted, Director, FCS&CA, Kashmir Bashir Ahmad Khan said that government has fixed the rates two years earlier. “It s being revised by the divisional level committee headed by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir,” he said.
“We appeal people to be more cooperative and inform us whenever they come across incidents of overpricing,” said Khan.