Sale of sacrificial animals: Government rate list goes for a toss
People weigh a sacrificial animal at Srinagar's Eidgah Ground.Habib Naqash for Greater Kashmir

Sale of sacrificial animals: Government rate list goes for a toss

Srinagar: Notwithstanding their tall claims, the price regulatory authorities in Kashmir have failed to check soaring prices of sacrificial animals ahead of Eid, thus leaving the people to get fleeced by the mutton dealers.

Ahead of Eid-ul-Adha various designated places in Kashmir, including Eidgah which hosts Srinagar’s largest sacrificial animal mandi, are abuzz with sale and purchase of sacrificial goats, sheep.

However overpricing by the dealers, despite the clear cut rate list issued by the Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department, has dampened the spirits of buyers. The department fixes prices of these animals.

The laid-back approach of price regulatory authorities in Kashmir has left the people piqued. Feeling let down by the authorities yet again, they are complaining of exorbitant prices of sacrificial animals amid economic meltdown in the region due to Covid pandemic.

Exorbitant rates quoted by the mutton dealers, shepherds selling their livestock have taken people aback. They complain that the government has failed to implement its own rate list issued a few days back.

“From Rs 310 to 350 per kg, these dealers are quoting prices as per their sweet will as a result of which people are shying away from making purchases. Where is the monitoring mechanism?” asks Inam ul Haq, a Srinagar resident.

As per an order issued by Director Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) Kashmir Dr Abdul Salam Mir, the rates for Delhi Walla and Merino Cross varieties of sheep have been fixed at Rs 285 per kg while those of Bakerwal and Kashmiri varieties have been fixed at Rs 270 per kg. The rate for goats has been fixed at Rs 260 per kg.

The new rates are up by Rs 50, across the board compared to last year.

Thursday’s order has been issued following the decision taken in a meeting of officials regarding the fixing/review of rates of the sacrificial (Qurbani) livestock.

The rates have been fixed under the J&K Mutton Licensing and Control Order 1973 and SRO 31 of 1974, the order adds.

However the mutton dealers say that the authorities have not taken them in confidence while fixing the rates of sacrificial animals. “It is very difficult to fix a rate for sacrificial animals as various breeds are being made available in the market. Each breed has its own specification and qualities, which make it difficult to keep a general price for all. As a result of which many dealers don’t sell as per government fixed rates,” explains Kashmir Wholesalers Mutton Dealers Association general secretary Mehraj ud Din.

Director FCS&CA Kashmir, Dr. Abdul Salam Mir maintains that they are checking all sale points of sacrificial animals and ensuring the government fixed rates are adhered to. “I was personally on the field. But at the same time, it is also the responsibility of the people not to buy sheep, goats at higher prices and inform us about any overcharging, so that we can take action.”

He says that the department is actively monitoring the markets and taking action against violators.

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