Despite the long-awaited thaw between mutton dealers and the administration in Kashmir, the consumers have returned their homes empty-handed due to an acute shortage in the supply of livestock.
The understanding between the dealers and the administration, which was reached after three rounds of deliberations lasting four months, the ‘mutton deadlock ends’ had hit the headlines. However, the subsequent storage of livestock has hit the lives of thousands of people associated with the trade.
Khazir Mohammad, the President of Mutton Dealers Association Kashmir, said that the “wholesale dealers have failed to supply the mutton.” Some of the wholesale dealers have been selling mutton at their respective homes at a higher rate, retail dealers have told The Kashmir Walla.
After the deliberations, the deadlock had ended with the fixation of the rate at 535 rupees per kilogram of mutton without offal and 490 rupees per kilogram with offal. “Some of the wholesale dealers have been selling mutton directly to consumers at exorbitant prices from homes,” Khazir claimed, “as retail mutton sellers are not provided with the supply.” He further added that he has informed the concerned Assistant Director Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs about the issue too.
The authorities have marked the wholesale selling price for mutton at forty rupees lesser than the retail — without offal at 495 rupees per kilogram.
A retail mutton seller in Srinagar, who requested anonymity, alleged that he was refused the supply by a local wholesale dealer. He claimed that he was told that “the rate has been accepted by the President (wholesale dealers Association) but we are not satisfied with the rates… You should ask him for the mutton.”
When contacted by The Kashmir Walla, Wholesale Kothadar Association general secretary Mehrajuddin Ganaie added that “there are certain dealers who are indulging in black marketing of the mutton”. He further sought the attention and support of the administration in making the mutton available in Kashmir.
“Black marketing of mutton hits the business of the genuine dealers as orders wouldn’t be accepted in Mandi when another person gives them higher rates than us,” he said.
Ahmad further said the association has placed orders with the market outside the Valley and “may take some ten to fifteen” days to streamline the supply of livestock in Kashmir.