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JAMMU & KASHMIR

Food Dept fails to check skyrocketing mutton, chicken prices in Kashmir | KNO

Have acted against violators who don't implement norms, claims Director FCS&CA

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Srinagar, June 26 (KNO): Amid Covid-19 pandemic, the skyrocketing of mutton and chicken prices has left the people in Kashmir valley disappointed as the department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department has failed to act against the violators.

Locals alleged that mutton is being sold at Rs 600 per kg, while chicken at over 170 rupees in almost all districts of the Kashmir valley and there seems no end to it. However, officials from the food department stated that there is around 50 per cent dip in mutton consumption in the valley but still teams in every district are keeping vigil and violators are made to face the law and are fined under relevant provisions.

People from different parts of the valley told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that they are looted by mutton and poultry sellers as they have resorted to price hike while the government is acting as mute spectator. KNO received scores of calls from different areas of Bandipora wherein people said that chicken was being sold at Rs 180/kg instead of the government fixed rate at Rs 140/kg.

Many people said the shopkeepers were resorting to profiteering under the nose of the authorities. “There is complete failure of market regulation,” they said. People complained that there were no market-checking teams visible on the ground in Bandipora district, thus giving free hand to shopkeepers and vendors to violate the government fixed rates. Irshad Ahmad a resident of Anantnag said they buy mutton at 550 to 700 per kg while chicken is sold at 145-160 as the concerned authorities have failed to act against the violators.

Similar complaints were received from other districts of the valley as well. An official from FCS&CA department told KNO that people from Dalgate area of Srinagar have boycotted buying mutton from local butchers as they have restored to overpricing. He said people need to be sound and aware about the same since the government from time to time is issuing rate lists and people should also judge what's right and wrong since a lot depends on how they respond to certain things.

Director FCS&CA, Bashir Ahmad on being contacted told KNO that the teams are in every district as well as in Srinagar district and they are already working to implement the law. He said so far they have collected around 2.5 lakh as fine from violators in Srinagar alone in the past 25 days and an FIR has also been registered. “Even today we have registered FIRs against 16 people for violation of norms and in every month our exercise remains similar since we are not limited to festivals only.”

He also said the action is initiated against those who don’t adhere to the government approved rate lists. He furthermore said that there is at least 50 per cent dip in mutton consumption in the valley, adding that some shopkeepers for their self-interests hike rates but the department has always acted against them and people need to be aware—(KNO)

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