Authorities sit on exorbitant rates of poultry, vegetables, fruits

Authorities sit on exorbitant rates of poultry, vegetables, fruits
Photo: Nasir Khan/GK

Srinagar, Oct 24: Failure of authorities to ensure sale of poultry, vegetables and fruits is taking a heavy toll on consumers in the summer capital. 

Aggrieved consumers said authorities have confined their role to release on rate lists of essential items, while there are no sustained measures on the ground to prevent profiteering.

Consumers complained that poultry is being sold at higher rates than government-designated rates. The official rate of chicken is Rs 130 per kg. Ironically, chicken is sold at Rs 160-170 in absence of any regulation by the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs.

Greater Kashmir received complaints about higher rates of chicken from various areas including Khanyar, Nowhatta, Bohri Kadal, Khayam, Dalgate, Hazratbal, Jawahar Nagar, Hyderpora and Sanat Nagar.

“When there is no check from authorities, poultry sellers are taking us for a ride. Most of the traders are not abiding by government-designated rates. I purchased chicken at 160 per kg at Hazratbal despite official rate being Rs 130 kg” said Ali Muhammad, a local from Hazratbal.

The consumers complained that the rate list for vegetables and other essential commodities is not followed either. They said that daily-use vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, onions and other vegetables are sold at higher rates than government-designated rates. They said the same is the case with fruit sellers. “Fruit sellers too sell fruits at exorbitant rates,” Ghulam Ahmad, a consumer said.

As per a market survey by this reporter, potatoes, Tomatoes and onions are sold at Rs 40, Rs 60, and Rs 35 respectively. However, the rates on FCS&CA website are 5 to 10 rupees lower in each vegetable.

Abdul Salam Mir, Director FCS&CA said that they are already deploying teams to check if the rates are being followed. He said that they will intensify the market check in coming days.

“We will also check the possibility of rate list revision in the coming days. We will issue a revised rate list for commodities soon so that traders and consumers won’t face any difficulties,” Mir said.

However, many consumers said that the FCS&CA just imposes a paltry fine on few erring shopkeepers for “mere publicity and formality.” “There seems to be some nexus. We urge the Divisional Commissioner to order probe into the functioning of the FCS&CA department as it has failed in its one of the important functions of implementing rate list of essential items,” Abdul Hamid, a consumer said.

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