SRINAGAR Mutton suppliers also known as commission agents who supply mutton to Valley-based dealers from outside mandis have suspended trade after government declined their demand of fixing prices of mutton at Rs 480 per kilogram, a local news agency reported on Thursday.
As per mutton suppliers delivery of sheep from mandis in Delhi, Rajashtan and Punjab has been stopped since last few days by the commission agents after authorities informed them that existing prices of mutton in retail markets of the Valley can be hiked to only Rs 430-Rs 440.
We cannot afford to continue our trade with such low prices so we have decided to stop purchase of sheep meant for supply to the Valley from outside mandis. We have told the authorities to hike the prices as we cannot continue making bulk purchases with such low retail market returns, a commission agent told the news agency.
Meanwhile, several commission agents who do purchase and sale of sheep for Valley on Thursday held meetings with officials in the divisional administration to find a middle path, said a trader. Government has been planning to increase prices of mutton in the retail market soon. Commenting on the suspension of trade by commission agents, a mutton dealer said stocks of meat in the Valley are sufficient at the moment to last for several days.
A senior official, wishing anonymity, said said prices of mutton are likely to be increased from existing Rs 420 per kilogram to Rs 440 per kg which has been opposed by the commission agents. The government had recently increased prices of chicken by Rs 30 making it cost Rs 150 per kg.
He said the meeting between mutton dealers association and officials of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) was held on Saturday. However, the final decision on the price hike can be only taken in a meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner who heads the price fixation committee, the official said.
Meanwhile, CAPD on Friday notified the rate list for vegetables to be sold across the Valley. Director CAPD, Muhammad Qasim Wani said prices of mutton have stablised after having been skyrocketing recently as government has intensified market checking, he said.
From Rs 550 per kg, the prices of mutton have stabilized and consumers are purchasing this commodity at a much affordable price. We hope the deliberations on the price review of mutton come to a conclusive end so that a fixed price for mutton is decided soon, Wani said. ( KNO )