Rate fixation for essential and mostly used commodities has been a trick issue in Jammu and Kashmir since quite long now. Almost rates for all the sellable commodities or we can say those commodities that are in daily use are fixed by the government and these rates are more or less adhered to at various places.
However, since the past many years now it is being felt that the rate fixation of various essential commodities is being ignored and in case the rates are fixed, the prices are not implemented on ground.
Since the past four months now one such commodity that is mutton, has got engulfed into the rate controversy with the administration and the dealers at logger heads. It has been four months now that the common people have been held hostage for the tussle between the administration and the mutton dealers.
Two committees were formed and a team comprising of various civil society members and journalists also visited some places in north India to get ground level information on mutton pricing. The motive was to get on some meeting point and announce rates that are viable for the people as well as the traders.
It has been two months now that the committees have submitted their reports and some headway was made, but as of now the pricing issue has not been settled and the people continue to miss their favorite protein supplement from their menus.
Though meat is available at some select counters but at the rate that is charged by the dealers and the locals have no say in governing or controlling the rates. It is however, only that a selected few are able to lay their hands on mutton.
Another commodity that is also consumed hugely across Jammu and Kashmir is chicken. Though the rates of this commodity too are fixed by the government but the rate fixation does not become an issue here.
On Saturday live chicken was being sold at Rs 114 a kilogram in most of the localities and at some places the rates were fixed at Rs 120 to Rs 125. On Sunday the rates swelled to Rs 130 and Rs134 to Rs 140 at several places and nobody, neither the administration bothered to check this out nor the people also worried to raise a voice.
Interestingly, the rate fixation mechanism is such that the common people have no inkling about how this is being done. Though it applies to other commodities but few commodities come within the view of the administration and it is here only that the officials or the government machinery tend to intervene.
If the administration has taken a keen interest in govern the rates of mutton why are other commodities being ignored.
If the rates of chicken fluctuate around 25% to 30% within 24 hours why does this development get ignored at the administrative level? Targeting one particular commodity and letting other escape cannot work if price fixations need to be turned into a reality here.