Unregulated, soaring prices of mutton, fruits, vegetables leave consumers struggling

JK News Live

CAPD says it has no authority to fix rates

Jahangir Sofi

Srinagar, Feb 15 (KNO): Unregulated mutton and poultry prices have emerged as a pressing issue in Kashmir, causing immense concern among the local population. Following the government’s decision to end price control last year, the absence of a regulatory body has led to soaring prices, leaving consumers struggling.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the Union Ministry’s notification last year advised the Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department of Jammu and Kashmir to refrain from enforcing price control. It cited orders under S.O. 145(E) dated 15.02.1990 which effectively removed the region’s ability to regulate mutton and chicken prices.

People are expressing anger and are worried over the steep increase in mutton prices, which now range from 700 to 750 rupees, making it challenging for households. The absence of a regulatory authority has left consumers vulnerable to exploitation by retailers charging exorbitant rates.

Abdul Rashid War, Director of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Kashmir told KNO that before the implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), their department was fixing the rates, but currently they don’t have any authority to do it.

“We don’t have any authority to fix the rates of mutton, chicken, fruits or vegetables; however, if there is a complaint, people can approach consumer commission. Our mandate is for the supply of food grains,” he said.

A locally established mutton retailers association have taken it upon themselves to address the issue. They said they have already announced standardized mutton rates with a pledge to maintain discipline within the industry.

Hilal Ahmad Wichka, Secretary, All Kashmir Butcher Association said they are the only institution in the valley that can decide the mutton rates.

“We have not received any complaint regarding the sale of mutton at higher rates,” he said, adding, “There can be some fluctuation in rates in February, but in March the rates will be stable. Our forum is the only one that can fix the rates.”

However, Javid Ahmad from Srinagar said the initiative underscores the void created by the absence of governmental regulation and the reliance on community-driven solutions. “Kashmiri consumers grapple with the uncertainty of unregulated prices, and the role of local initiatives in providing stability and support becomes increasingly significant,” he said.

Javid stressed the need for a comprehensive approach involving government intervention to address the challenges posed by unregulated markets and ensure fair pricing for essential food items in the region.

Nazir Ahmad, a vegetable wholesaler outside his shop in Fruit Mandi Parimpora, said they fix the rates of vegetables based on demand and supply and that there are no major fluctuations in the vegetable rates in the wholesale market.

“In the wholesale market, rates are the almost same as we fix them based on demand and supply, but once the retailers take the vegetable stock from us we don’t know at what rates they sell them in the market,” he said.

Shabir Ahmad, a fruit wholesaler said the only rate fluctuation in the wholesale market can be around 5 percent and that the sale of the same fruits sold in the retail market may have a rate variance—(KNO)

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JK News Live

JK News Live is a platform where you find comprehensive coverage and up-to-the-minute news, feature stories and videos across multiple platform.

Website: www.jknewslive.com

Email: [email protected]

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