Govt fails to enforce poultry rates; consumers overcharged

The department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCSCA) has failed to enforce the rates for poultry which has led to overpricing of chicken in the market.

Around three months ago, the government fixed Rs 125/kg for broiler chicken in the market. However the consumers complained to the Greater Kashmir that the retailers were selling chicken at Rs 175 to Rs 180/kg.

“The rate lists are not displayed at any chicken shop and the retailers sell the chicken at exorbitant rates. There is no accountability from the concerned department,” said Showkat Ahmad, a resident of Baramulla.

The consumers complained that besides rate lists, the market squads have also disappeared from the ground which has encouraged the retailers to fix their own rates for the chicken.

“The shopkeepers overlook the government rates fixed for the chicken. The consumers are forced to purchase it at exorbitant rates as the government has failed to regulate the rates,” Ahmad said.

Besides chicken, the department has failed to enforce the rates of other essential commodities as well. Prices of fruits and vegetables have touched the sky leaving consumers high and dry.

An official of the FCSCA department admitted that chicken was being sold at exorbitant rates as the price fixed by the department was not implemented on ground.

“Shopkeepers do not cooperate to follow the government rate list because the price was fixed over three months ago. They (shopkeepers) claim that they receive the chicken from wholesalers on high rates due to which they are bound to hike the rates,” the official said.

He said the FCSCA department was supposed to revise the rate list after every month which however is not implemented resulting in overpricing of essentials in the market.

“We have intimated the higher ups about the issue but the rate list is yet to be revised which has led to overpricing of chicken and other essentials in the market,” the official said.

Director FCSCA department, Bashir Ahmad Khan, said the people should refrain from purchasing chicken and other essentials at exorbitant rates.

“People should not purchase at an exorbitant price when the government has fixed a rate for chicken,” Khan said.

When asked about revision of rate list, the Director said it was the prerogative of the government to decide the time to revise the rate list.

“We will still strengthen market checking to control overpricing. Revision of rate list will be also considered,” he said.