The severe mutton shortage in Kashmir is likely to end in a week's time after the new retail mutton rates, which came into effect immediately, were approved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday.
The revised mutton rates came as a result of hectic negotiations with the dealers. The authorities have finally fixed the rate of mutton at Rs 535 per kilogram in Kashmir.
While talking to news agency KNT, President of All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association, Mehraj Ud Din said that they had called a meeting today in which all the wholesale mutton dealers showed up.
"Directions were given to all wholesale meat dealers to procure the livestock while keeping in view the government approved meat rates," he stated, adding that they were asked to get in touch with their contacts in outside Mandis to aggressively increase the supply of livestock in the Kashmir valley.
He further said that it will take some more to end the shortage of mutton. "However, the change will be visible from tomorrow hopefully," he informed.
While talking about the seizure of certain meat shops after the newly fixed rates were ordered to be implemented in the region, Mehraj Ud Din said that these are unscrupulous elements and need to dealt with as per law.
Meanwhile, Parvez Ahmad Ganie, who is the President of Butchers Union Pulwama, said that they are surely facing 'a little shortage' of livestock at the moment. "After months of strike, the supply is expected to take time to settle down and suffice the demand," he added.
Pertinently, mutton is a highly sought-after commodity in Kashmir with a consumption of around 1,000 lakh kg/year. As per estimates of All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association, Kashmir consumes meat worth over Rs 5 Crores daily and yearly, the import figure is around Rs. 2500 Crores.