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Stalemate over mutton prices: KEA committee submits report to Govt

It added: “The KEA committee has proposed that meat retail dealers procure Grade (A) meat for Rs Rs 518 per kilogram 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 who

Post by on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

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Srinagar, Feb 16: According to a press statement, the Kashmir Economic Alliance's “fact-finding committee” designated to take stock of the meat prices in Mandis outside Jammu and Kashmir submitted its report to the authorities. The statement said that Farooq Ahmed Dar, Convener of the Committee and Co-Chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance, along with the members of the committee on Monday submitted the report to the Director, Department of Civil Supply, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution and the Divisional Administration.

“The stalemate between the administration and meat dealers over meat prices in the Valley is likely to end with the submission of this report. The 18-page report details the prices of meat in Delhi, Rajasthan, Ambala and Amritsar markets,” the statement said.

It added: “The KEA committee has proposed that meat retail dealers procure Grade (A) meat for Rs Rs 518 per kilogram 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 statement said that the members have followed proper criteria before fixing the rate of the meat. “The members have taken into account all the angles and circumstances of the mutton dealers in the valley, after which the price was fixed.”

The report states that Rajasthan's Sekhar 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, the meat from Rajasthan Mandi reaches the valley at an average price of Rs. 541 per kg, while the average price of meat from Delhi Mandi in the valley is around Rs. 527. The price of meat from Ambala is estimated at Rs. 516. The average price of meat from Amritsar in the Kashmir markets is about 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. The committee members arrived at this price by meeting market traders, as well as the Meat Union officials of Delhi, Ambala, Rajasthan and Amritsar.”

The statement said that the committee in its report has also made a number of recommendations and suggestions to the authorities, including regulating the business, raising issues with the concerned states to prevent illegal tax collection abroad and urging mutton dealers to adopt better procedures and SOPs so that customers are also served better.

“We are hopeful that with the submission of this report, the four-month standoff between the administration and the mutton dealers will end and the artificial shortage of meat in the valley will also be brought to an end,” the statement added.

The Administration had fixed the retail price of meat in the Valley at 480 per kilogram and the wholesale price at Rs 450, after which a tussle over the rates arose between the meat dealers and the administration. “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 in the outside Mandis, while a team from the Kashmir Economic Alliance, including t1raders and journalists, visited the four mandis from December 20 to 28. These mandis include Ghazipur Delhi, Sikar Rajasthan, Ambal and Amritsar,” the statement further said.

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