Qurbaani at higher prices courtesy of profiteering, inflation

Qurbaani at higher prices courtesy of profiteering, inflation
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Administration failure, increased transportation charges, ‘other expenses’ bloat it further

Arif Rashid

Srinagar: Days before Eid-ul-Adha, the prices of Qurbaani (sacrificial animals) have skyrocketed in Srinagar city as buyers complain of profiteering by traders at different markets of Srinagar.
Consumers complain of administration failure to check rates ahead of Eid.
The biggest sale market has already been established at Eidgah in Srinagar, where hundreds of sheep and goats are being sold on a daily basis.
However, very few people can be seen as compared to last year at the Eidgah market – courtesy ‘high rates’.
“It seems there is no one to check the rates of these animals. Even the traders are increasing the rates as per their choice,” said Abdul Aziz, a buyer adding that the government “seems unaware about the problems faced by people here”.
Sajid Ahmad, resident of Safa Kadal, who sells Sheep at Eidgah said, “It depends upon the rates of the mandi. If the rate of the sheep has increased in the mandi, the rate of sheep will also increase accordingly.”
He refuted the claims that rates had increased, terming it “a mere lie”.
Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA, however, has issued a rate list for sacrificial animals, fixing Sheep Dehli walla and sheep (Marino cross) Rs 210 live per kg, while as Kashmiri sheep and Bakerwal sheep fixed at Rs 200 per kg. Goats have been fixed at Rs 190 live per kg.
“We bought four goats for Rs 35,000 from Eidgah market, where the sale is on from last two days. We went to several places, but at Eidgah, there was more choice and the scope for bargaining was better,” said Ghulam Hassan Baba, a resident of Soura.
“I am confused why the rates of the sacrificial animals have increased, if the government has already fixed their rates for the sacrificial animals. It is unfortunate that some people are taking advantage and there is no one who can stop them,” said Ayoub Ahmad, a local resident of Eidgah.
Altaf Ahmad Khan from Kangan tehsil, who trades sheep at Eidgah, said price hike was the result of rising inflation, increased transportation charges and ‘other expenses’ in the market. “The rate of the feed is also very costly as compared to last year,” he said.
When contacted Director, FCS&CA Kashmir, Nisar Ahmad Wani said, “Our two teams are regularly checking prices at different markets of Srinagar city. Deputy Director and Assistant director FCS&CA are leading these two teams,” adding that the department recently realised a fine of eleven thousand rupees from profiteers violating rules at different markets of the city.
“The market checking drives will be continued and the violators will be sternly dealt with,” he asserted.
Wani further said the department has already issued the rate list for scarified animals and it was the responsibility and duty of everyone to buy anything from the market as per the rate list of FCS&CA.
Eid-ul-Adha is one of the two major Muslim festivals and commemorates the willingness of Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son Ismail. The festival is celebrated by offering congregational prayers, sacrificing an animal and distributing its meat among neighbours, relatives and the poor.
From last many years, some valleyites prefer sacrificing camels that were earlier sacrificed only in Arabian countries.