Deadlock between mutton dealers and Government ends

The month-long deadlock between the mutton dealers and the government over mutton prices ended Saturday with two different delegations being constituted to visit livestock mandis outside the Valley to ascertain the price of mutton.

Last month, the government fixed the retail price for sale of mutton in Kashmir at Rs 480 per kg, which the mutton dealers termed “unacceptable”.

While the Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer (FCSCA) would send a delegation including two government officials, various trade bodies and mutton dealers would send a 15-member delegation to visit the livestock mandis outside Jammu and Kashmir.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association General Secretary, MehrajuddinGanai said the trade delegation apart from the mutton dealers and traders would also have representatives from the civil society and media who would visit the livestock mandis.

“We are giving final touches to the list of members who will leave for Delhi in the next few days for conducting a survey in the mandis. It will be a one-week visit to livestock mandis of Delhi, Ambala and Amritsar,” Ganai said.

Ganai said the delegation was constituted after the traders approached the FCSCA following which the government asked the mutton dealers and its officials to visit the mandis and present a detailed report to it.

“Mutton wholesalers, retailers (butchers) and commission agents have been made a part of the delegation that will conduct a market survey. Apart from livestock mandis, the 15-member group including civil society members will also visit the retail mutton shops outside the Valley and see for themselves whether the price of Rs 480 per kg is justified or not,” Ganai said.

He said after the visit outside the Valley, the traders would present its report to the government.

“We are hopeful that even the government-constituted committee will get a realistic picture from outside mandis. Based on the two reports, the government must finalise a suitable rate for mutton in retail markets of the Valley,” Ganai said.

Meanwhile, the government has deputed a team outside J&K mandis to “ascertain the factual position about mutton rates and other charges”.

The order issued by the Department of FCS&CA reads that the department had deputed officers to visit wholesale livestock mandis of Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana to ascertain the factual position about livestock rates, mutton rates and incidental charges thereof.

“The committee will also approach the relevant government departments to get the requisite information officially signed from them also. Besides it will approach the wholesale traders and commission agents to get the monthly and yearly rate structure trends from them,” the government order reads.