National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah Thursday rued the failure of the administration to remove the deadlock over the fixation of mutton prices saying the lack of ability to take all stakeholders into confidence for a speedy resolution had aggravated the woes of the people.
A statement of NC issued here quoted the party president over the scarcity of mutton from the markets across Kashmir as saying that the government’s silence on the crisis induced by the unavailability of mutton in the markets had disturbed normal life of the citizens.
He said the absence of farsightedness and timely decisions had created a crisis-like situation. “The absence of a robust grievance mechanism to mitigate the issues of people has further aggravated the miseries of people on different accounts,” Abdullah said. “The issue of mutton dealers has been lingering around for five month now. The administration on its part has not been able to find an amicable resolution to the impending issue by taking all stakeholders on board.”
He said mutton was an essential part of the local dietetic routine.
“In addition to that situation of the people associated with the trade is no less deplorable than the consumers. The mutton trade, it goes without saying is one of most important sources of employment in the region. The entire lot of people which directly or indirectly depends on mutton trade has also been at the receiving end all through,” the NC president said.
He said there was an urgent need to find an amicable solution to the issues as various festivals were arriving in the days and weeks to come.
“Herath and Mehraj-un-Nabi observances are approaching and mutton is off the markets. It is the duty of the administration to ensure that the people aren’t made to suffer due to the impasse. If the situation continues, the festivities will dampen. Therefore it is expected that the administration will take all the concerned parties onboard and end the stalemate by protecting the interests of the consumers as well as people associated with the trade,” Abdullah said.
He said the administration should remove anomalies in the process of fixing rates by coming up with an effective mechanism to fix the rates. “Every few months we get to hear that a committee is being formed to fix the rates. The issue has to be dealt with once for all by having a coordinated mechanism in place to take care price fixing,” the NC president said.
Abdullah also urged the government to establish special fair price depots for the purchase of fish, walnuts, and other commodities for Kashmiri Pandit brethren on the Herath festival. He said similar fair price depots should be established across Jammu division.