Can’t check exorbitant mutton prices without complaint: Govt

Can’t check exorbitant mutton prices without complaint: Govt

Srinagar: The Directorate of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Kashmir (FCSCAK), responsible for regulating market prices of food items and essential commodities, on Sunday said that it cannot keep a check on exorbitant prices of mutton unless consumers file a complaint against a specific offender.
“That is the only way we can identify offenders. If there is no complaint, there will be no action,” FCSCAK Director Bashir Ahmad Khan told Kashmir Reader.
“Mutton dealers are selling from their homes these days, where people go and buy. Consumers should immediately ring us if they are charged exorbitant rates and our squad will take action against the offender. Otherwise, we don’t know who sells at what rates and therefore we cannot take suo moto cognisance,” Khan said.
At present, mutton retailers are selling a kg of mutton at Rs 600 to Rs 700, against the government-set rate of Rs 400. This has been going on since the lockdown was imposed in mid March and the government has been unable to contain it. Arrests of some retailers and seizure of their goods have not made any impact on the rates.
According to the general secretary of Mutton Dealers Association Kashmir, Mehraj Ganai, the hike in rates has been made possible due to the inefficient system in place for regulating the rates. He said the government sets the rates once a year but the market rates go up and down depending on demand and supply. This, he said, is the main reason why the government set rates are not followed in markets.
Besides this, he said, the government has been unable to take any significant action against those who sell at exorbitant prices.
“While the wholesale markets are shut, some mutton dealers have taken a risk and reached out to sellers in other Indian states. Here it is the seller that rules the roost, not the buyer. In Kashmir the retailers sell accordingly,” Ganai said.
Curiously, the rates have shot up even as the demand for mutton has almost vanished in Kashmir Valley due to fear of Covid-19 infectiom from the meat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.