Srinagar Nov 04 : Kashmir may face shortage of mutton as mutton dealers have refused to adhere to the recently fixed rate list for mutton by the administration.
Two days back, administration fixed rates of mutton at Rs 480 (retail) and Rs 450 (wholesale) in Kashmir.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir Pandurang K Pole chaired a meeting of Rate Fixation Committee and fixed rates of mutton at Rs 480 (retail) and Rs 450 as (wholesale) rates in Kashmir.
However, the mutton dealers have resisted the recently fixed rate list. “Who will sell mutton at Rs 480 when we get more than Rs 520 from outside dealers? We have instead decided to close our shops if we are forced to sell mutton at Rs 480 per kilogram,” Mohammad Subhan, a mutton dealer said.
General Secretary, All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association (KWMD), Mehraj-ud-Din Ganai said it was not possible to sell mutton at Rs 480.
“The rates have been fixed without consulting us. These rates are not genuine. How can we sell mutton at these rates when we purchase it for more than Rs 480,” Ganai told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).
He said that the government had a proposal from Sheep Husbandry where they have claimed expenditure of Rs 476 on the production of one kilogram mutton.
“But Kashmir is a meat consuming region and most of the mutton is imported from outside. Then how can they fix rates on the proposal of Sheep Husbandry,” he asked. “This has created confusion and can lead to shortage of mutton in markets,” he said.
While Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole said that rates have been fixed after taking all factors into consideration. “Law enforcing agencies will take action against those who sell meat at higher rates,” Pole said.
An official document reveals that demand for the mutton is increasing with time and to meet it about 15 lakh small ruminants are imported into J&K annually.
The main supply of mutton is imported from Rajasthan.
Kashmiris and people from several parts of Jammu are voracious meat eaters as compared to other Indian states. More than 80 percent of the population here are non-vegetarian. (KINS)