Price fixation war
Kashmir has been a huge market for mutton since centuries now. Meat in all forms, besides chicken and fish has been the staple diet for the population here and these products remain in demand all through the year.
Since the rates of these products have always been a tricky issue it is only meat where the government has been trying to establish its writ and failing almost every time. The other products that include poultry and fish, the government has been ignoring the daily prices and no effort is being undertaken to ensure a just price mechanism that will end the common mans woes.
Chicken prices keep on fluctuating every day. One day chicken is sold at 130 Rupees a kilogram and the next the rates see a fluctuation of 30 percent. This process continues for the entire year and even now the prices of eggs too have been hitting the common man with the government as usual preferring to stay away from interfering.
In Srinagar the prices of eggs per tray has been recorded at Rs 200 and the dealers have been cautioning further price hike. Similarly, the fish rate control mechanism too is dependent on the whims and likes of the traders with the common man always finding himself caught in a catch-22 situation.
The administration has however preferred to take the easiest way-out by interfering in the rates of mutton only, and in this case too tries to act by closing its eyes to reality and the ground situation.
Since the past one year now mutton is being sold at 600 Rs a kilogram in Kashmir and people have been at various points of time raising their concerns. But the government kept looking the other way and as a result the mutton dealers had their day.
Now after the passage of more than a year the government wakes up to the public demand but has ignored the pleas that were put up by the mutton dealers. The governments own agency, the animal and sheep husbandry department has itself admitted that the production rate for mutton is Rs 476 and still the government has fixed retail price for mutton at Rs 480.
This announcement is sure to rebound as the mutton dealers have said that they cannot supply meat to the common people on the rates issued by the government. The traders have been on a war path and today they have made it clear that the rates fixed by the government are not based on reality and ground situation.
The developments and the decisions announced by the government on fixing the rates for meat indicate that no common ground was sought by the administration as the mutton dealers were not taken into confidence and given a chance to put forth their demands. Besides, the government cannot close its eyes to the reality and try to ignore the basic market principles.
Any product that is sold in the market follows the principle of supply and demand. This principle is used to determine the rates of the product and the government needs to take that into consideration.