Deadlock Over Mutton Prices Likely to End

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KEA Submits Fact Finding Report  

Srinagar: The impasse between the administration and mutton dealers over the prices in Kashmir Valley is likely to end as the trade body Kashmir Economic Alliance’s ‘fact-finding’ committee covering meat prices in outside  markets has submitted its report to the authorities.

Led by Farooq Ahmed Dar, Convener of the Committee and Co-Chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance, the members of the Committee on Monday submitted the report to the Director, Department of  Civil Supply, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution and Divisional Administration.

Bi-lingual 18 page report, compiled in Urdu and English features the prices of meat in Delhi, Rajasthan, Ambala and Amritsar markets.
Sources said that the fact finding Committee in its report has said that meat retail dealers procure Grade (A) meat for Rs Rs 518 per kg and it is up to the government to add some profit to this amount for these retailers.
Although the price includes the profits of the wholesalers and commission agents of Delhi, the profits of the butchers are not included in the report. The report said that members have followed proper criteria before fixing the rate of the meat.
The report states that Rajasthan’s Sekar Mandi has the best live cattle available, with a very good breed, while Amritsar has sheep and goats of lower quality.

According to the report, on an average meat from Rajasthan Mandi to Kashmir reaches at Rs. 541 per kg, while the average price of meat from Delhi Mandi to the Valley reaches at Rs. 527. The price of meat from Ambala to the Valley is estimated at Rs. 516. The average price of meat from Amritsar to Kashmir has been fixed at Rs 490.
Taking into account the prices of meat in all the four markets, the Fact Finding Committee has presented a break-up of the price of meat at Rs 518.5 per kg. It has been mentioned that the same committee members in outside mandis participated in fake bids to find out the real facts, met market traders, discussed with mutton union officials of Delhi, Ambala, Rajasthan and Amritsar.

The fact-finding committee in its report also made recommendations and suggestions to the authorities, including regulating the meat industry, raising issues with the concerned States to prevent illegal tax collection outside and mutton dealers have been urged to adopt procedures in the interest of consumers.
Administration, pertinently, has fixed the retail price of mutton in the Valley at 480 per kg and the wholesale price at 450, after which there was a tussle over these rates.

Authorities cracked down on butchers not adhering to the government prices lists. Following the intervention of the Kashmir Economic Alliance, the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department, on the instructions of the divisional administration dispatched a team to ascertain  prices outside Mandis besides a team from the Kashmir Economic Alliance, including Traders and Journalists that visited the four  mandis from December 20 to 28. These mandis include Ghazipur Delhi, Sikar Rajasthan, Ambala and Amritsar.

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