Mutton dealers hike rates unilaterally

Consumers appeal govt


Srinagar, Dec 15: In violation of the law, the mutton retailers in the Kashmir Valley have begun to sell the meat at Rs 320 per kg against the government approved Rs 280/kg.
 The arbitrarily hike by the retailers has incensed the people. “At a time when the people are suffering from the pangs of inflation and shortage of essential commodities, the increase in rate of mutton has aggravated their problems,” said Inaam ul Haq, a Srinagar resident.
 People from different areas have demand strict action against the mutton retailers overcharging from the customers.
 “The meat being sold in Kashmir is usually of C or D-grade, yet it is being sold at a price which is even higher for A-grade meat,” complained Manzoor Ahmad of Bemina.
Dealers’ take
 Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association blames the “illegal supply” of meat to the Valley for arbitrarily hike in mutton prices.
 Association President Mehraj ud Din told Greater Kashmir that a huge quantity of mutton was being brought to Kashmir “illegally” by people who were not actually the licence holders.
 He said government should immediately renew the licenses. “CAPD department recently issued notice for renewing licenses but now it seems they have forgotten the process,” he said.
 According to him they (mutton dealers) were “giving their licenses to people not related to this trade, who use these licences to procure sheep from outside."
 “It is disgusting that certain licence holders have been allowing their licences to be used against consideration by people not related to this trade,” he said.
 He said the association had drafted and submitted some proposals to the government so that this practice is checked and “genuine” dealers “saved”.
 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 have time and again raised this issue with the government, yet no heed has been given to our pleas,” he said.
 He alleged that the government had failed to check the “illegal supply” of mutton. “Even the authorities are not able to enforce uniform rates of the meat in the market,” he said.
 Din blamed the people importing sheep by using “inactive” dealers’ licenses for purchasing the mutton at higher rates in outside mandis.
 “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 alleged that about 170 licenses were being misused as their holders were “inactive”.
 He suggested that all the licence holders should be brought under scanner so that the practice of “misuse” of licenses is checked.
 He alleged that the commission agents in Delhi, who he said are mostly Kashmiris, were damaging their business.
 “They increase the rates of mutton and mostly supply it to non-license holders,” he said, adding that there should be a check on the commission agents.

Officials speak
 Deputy Director, CAPD, Shafqat Iqbal told Greater Kashmir that their teams are conducting regular market checks to enforce the rate list.
 On renewal of licenses, Iqbal said: “The licenses will be renewed very soon.”
 However, Assistant Director, CAPD Ali Muhammad Hajam said: “I along with a market squad team raided many places in Srinagar city. We have sealed two mutton retailers who were selling meat at higher rates and our drive will continue against profiteers,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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