Call it an irony or administrative failure the mutton is currently being sold in Kashmir at Rs 600 to Rs 700 per kg against the government notified rate of Rs 440.
Sources said at Nowshera here the mutton retailers sell the meat at their homes at Rs 600 per kg whereas at Safa-Kadal and Eidgah here the rate is Rs 600 to 700 a kg.
Sources said in other districts of Kashmir also, the government approved rate is not adhered to.
Many customers said that mutton is not a luxury for all. “There are patients who necessarily are to be fed with meat,” they said. “My mother who is undergoing dialysis has been advised by the medicos to consume meat before the dialysis session,” said Ajaz Ahmad a Srinagar resident.
When contacted, Director, FS&CA, Bashir Ahmad Khan said they have fixed per kg mutton price at Rs 440. “Since last week we have taken action against scores of erring meat sellers. The action will continue in the coming days too.
“We urge people to come forward and lodge complaints against those who are overcharging as otherwise their silence embolden violators.”
However, the mutton dealers and retailers have a different story to tell. They accuse the administration of failing to facilitate their movement which according to them has led to hike in the prices.
“Since the mandis across the country are closed the importing costs have risen exponentially as the dealers outside have increased prices,” said president, All Kashmir Mutton Dealers’ Association, Mehraj-ud-Din Ganie.
“The FS&CA department fixes prices without knowing the ground realities and the prevalent prices across the country,” he said. He said the dealers importing livestock this time are incurring huge losses which nobody is bothered to care about. “Apart from sealing shops or booking mutton dealers, the FS&CA department is doing nothing.”