Deadlock Over Mutton Rates Ends In Kashmir

Govt Fixes New Rates At Rs 535, Rs 490

Srinagar: The four month deadlock over the rates of mutton ended in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday with the administration fixing the retail price of mutton at Rs 535 per kilogram without offal and Rs 490 with it.

The stalemate over revised mutton rates ended during a meeting between Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole and the President Retail Mutton Dealer’s Association, Kashmir, Khazir Muhammad Regoo and Co-Chairman Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) Farooq Ahmed Dar here on Wednesday, reports said.

“We had a threadbare discussion with the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir. Government is not ready to fix Rs 550 as rate for per kg mutton and after discussions, new rate has been fixed at Rs 535 per kg,” Regoo said.

He said that the mutton dealers have agreed to sell meat at Rs 535 per kg from tomorrow though the revised rates will give them less profit.

KEA Co-Chairman Farooq Ahmed Dar said that there were some black sheep in the mutton trade who were not allowing the stalemate to end.

“In the interest of Kashmir’s ailing lot, general public and the 3 5000 families who are associated directly and indirectly with the mutton trade, we agreed with the rate suggested by the government. In the past four months, there have been Rs 800 crore losses to the mutton industry of Kashmir,” Dar said.

Pertinently, mutton has been off the markets in Kashmir in the past four months and people were facing severe shortage of meat.

“Black marketing of mutton will end now and people will heave a sigh of relief,” said Dar, who himself went to mandi’s of Rajasthan, New Delhi and other parts of India.

“We had suggested a Rs 550 rate per kg. But the Government wasn’t satisfied with this rate and after thorough discussion Rs 535 was agreed upon,” he said.

Asked how much loss mutton industry has suffered in the past four months, he said: “Mutton industry is a big in Kashmir and this industry has suffered Rs 800 crore losses.”

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole said that the meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere and new rates of mutton were decided.

“The official order will be issued by the Director Food department,” he said

Ever since the administration fixed the retail price of mutton at Rs 480 per kilogram in November last year, there was a deadlock with dealers demanding a review even as the price is Rs 40 higher than the previously fixed rate in 2016.

However it’s about Rs 120 less than what the dealers were selling the highly sought after commodity in Kashmir with a consumption of around 1,000 lakh kg/year. (Agencies)

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