Editorial | The same old problem

A man walking by a meat shop in Srinagar during a snowfall [Image for representational purpose only] Habib Naqash /GK

Somedays back when the concerned officials took some action against the meat dealers, on the ground, the issue was back into the limelight. Once again the same old lines, from both sides, are being repeated. The government considers the dealers as violators if they overcharge the customers by not following the price slab fixed by the government. On the other hand the mutton dealers have sharply resented to the move. They have in clear terms expressed their inability to sell the meat at the price fixed by the government. In this contest who is on the wrong side. Well, people certainly have no way of telling who is doing the right thing. It is clear that people would in all situation wish that the prices come down, lesser the prices better the deal. But if it goes against the very calculations of a business then no force on earth can make the dealers to stick to these prices. In the past we have witnessed that the dealers up the prices suddenly, then there is some action by the government.

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.  In this contest a common consumer is left confused, and he finally follows the forces of the market. The long lasting solution to this is to map the variables that go into making the prices, talk to the dealers as equals, and then agree on a price that is genuine. Neither the customers, nor the dealers should unduly suffer. Any form of exploitation should be ended.