Srinagar: Deadlock between the government and mutton dealers continues to persist despite the visit of two ‘fact-finding’ teams to outside Jammu and Kashmir mandies.
Most of the retailors continue to sell mutton at Rs. 600 per kilo despite the government fixed rate of Rs. 480. The erring retailors usually sell meat during the wee hours to evade Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCSCA) officials.
Even as the 15 member fact-finding team of traders, mutton dealers and civil society members will submit its report to the government, FCSCA director Bashir Ahmad Khan said the department had got nothing to do with the visit.
“As of now, the rate of Rs. 480 per kilo is final. I don’t know when they went there. We have got nothing to do with the visit,” the FCSCA director told The Kashmir Monitor.
He made the comments with reference to the recent visit of a 15 member team of the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association and civil society members to mandis in Delhi, Amritsar, Ambala, Sekar Rajasthan and other markets to check the prices of sheep and goats.
While an FCSCA team too visited outside mandis, Khan said it was a routine tour and had nothing to do with the demand of dealers to increase mutton prices.
However, KEA co-chairman Farooq Dar said they were hopeful that the crisis would end once they submitted their report.
“We will submit our report to the Divisional Commissioner and FCSCA director after six-seven days. We had formed this team to break the deadlock over mutton prices and we are hopeful that the matter will be resolved,” Dar told The Kashmir Monitor.
“We visited different markets and we want that there should be a fixed rate of mutton. Also, the rates should be the same during Eid or Covid (lockdown). We found out that in April, May and June, the rates of sheep are down but they still sell for the same price. We have to see the concerns of the public as well as that of the mutton dealers,” he added.
All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association, president, Mehraj-ud-Din had earlier told The Kashmir Monitor that the government fixed rates were not fair. He had also claimed that the mutton sold for Rs. 480 per kilo in the markets was substandard and it was not possible to sell good quality meat at these rates.