16 November,2020 Issue
Mutton Price Crisis News Kashmir Desk
Price of Mutton has been a serious issue in Kashmir with it going out of reach of common masses since few years.
Kashmir is known world over as a society that eats meat in very huge Quantity. More than 95 percent of Kashmiris eat non-vegetarian food items and mutton is most consumed among them .
Few years back official statistics stated that Jammu and Kashmir annually consumes a whopping 51,000 tonnes of mutton worth Rs.12.06 billion (over Rs.1,200 crore), of which 21,000 tonnes is imported from outside. The 21,000 tonnes is in addition to 30,000 tonnes of mutton produced locally and costing Rs.7.02 billion (Rs.702 crore) which also goes into the local consumption each year sometime years back these figures were revealed by the official of the animal husbandry department .Despite having some of the best meadows and pastures in the world, all the mutton imported into Kashmir comes from Rajasthan and other states .
Meat consumption has grown more in these current times . So it is high time that valley of Kashmir gears up its effort to become self sufficient in meat which we are not.
In an optimistic development recently it was stated that 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.
In this regard,at the outset, the Div Com said that rates have been fixed after taking all factors including, production cost, transportation, processing, cutting and all other charges into consideration.
He said that now onwards mutton rates shall be revised annually as per government’s wholesale pricing index.
Stressing on the strict implementation of official rates, the Div Com said that stringent action including FIRs shall he registered against mutton dealers/ butchers if found selling mutton on higher rates or resorting to any kind of violations against the official rates.In past few weeks many butchers have been booked for violating the orders .
Butchers state that production of mutton is still very low in Kashmir and that is why prices are high while as some experts state that despite mutton having different grades the butchers sell all on high prices .
Following the revised rate of mutton announced by the Divisional Administration Kashmir, meat shops in several areas of Srinagar were seen closed recently. Butchers state that it is not possible to sell on Government fixed rates for them.
Days after Divisional Administration fixed the rates of mutton, authorities had registered 37 FIR’s against mutton dealers for overcharging.
In Nutshell, one hopes that mutton prices would be stabled so that prices are within the reach of common masses .
For the moment ,mutton prices are generating great debate.