With Eid-ul-Adha just two weeks away, government has initiated the process for rate revision for the sacrificial animals.
The Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCSCA) department on Wednesday held a meeting with different stakeholders to discuss the rates.
Officials said that no consensus could be made on the rates at the meeting. "The mutton dealers at the meeting did not agree to the department's proposed rate of Rs 220 to Rs 230 per kilogram for live sheep," they said.
The officials of the FCSCA, the Sheep Husbandry department, the representatives of traders' associations and the wholesale mutton dealers were present at the meeting.
When contacted, Director, FCSCA, Bashir Ahmad Khan confirmed to Greater Kashmir that a price revision meeting between all stakeholders was held.
The final rates will be decided only by Saturday, he said, adding that the rates may be upwardly revised by 10 – 15 per cent.
"The mutton dealers have put forth their point of view and all these points will be taken into consideration before arriving at a final price," Khan said.
Meanwhile, Mehraj-u-din Ganai, general secretary, All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers' Association said that the 10 per cent increase in prices as proposed by the government was "unacceptable" to them. Ganai said the retail prices of mutton have "witnessed a manifold increase" since 2018 when "the last price revision for sacrificial animals was done".
"It is impossible for us to buy and sell on the rates proposed by government. Rates of sacrificial animals are always determined by the present prices in the retail mutton market," he said.
"We urge the government to fix a rate which is suitable for both customers as well as the mutton dealers," Ganai said.
He said that the dealers were already suffering due to the ongoing pandemic and cannot afford to suffer more. "Due to Covid-19 this year there seems to be less demand for the sacrificial animals which may also hit the trade," he said.
"Since the marriage season was affected this year due to the pandemic, we suffered huge losses," Ganai said, adding that the government in the present situation should take a realistic view and fix the rates accordingly.