Srinagar, Apr 4: Amid the holy month of Ramadan, people have accused the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumers Affairs (FCSCA) department of failing to regulate the prices of mutton which they say is being sold at Rs 650-700 per kg against the government notified price of Rs 535.
People from various parts of Srinagar said that the mutton shopkeepers are openly selling it at exorbitant rates. They said there is the least inspection by the FCSCA department to check on “illegal profiteering”.
“This is the holy month and we are being fleeced by the mutton shopkeepers. The month of Ramadan witnesses extra consumption of mutton but they are making it difficult for us by selling it at Rs 650 and at some places Rs 700 per kg,” Touseef Ramzan, a Srinagar resident said.
“Mutton retailers are selling it at Rs 650 per kg, how is that okay when the government’s declared price is Rs 535? I often have to argue with the shopkeeper over the rate. Why is the concerned department not doing anything about it?” Touseef asked.
Jan Mohammad, another Srinagar resident, alleged that the department is soft on those who resort to illegal profiteering or overpricing. He said that in some areas, mutton is being sold at Rs 700 per kg.
“There should be a punishment to offenders on the basis of mutton quality grades. Imposing a mere fine won’t make any impact; the authorities should suspend their license,” he said.
“I have to buy mutton for a patient at home, who needs mutton soup on a daily basis, but the overcharged prices are making it difficult for us,” Jan added.
Similar reports were received from other districts of the valley where people have complained of overpricing of mutton by sellers.
Meanwhile, the Director of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Kashmir department, Dr Abdul Salaam Mir said that he has given strict directions to his enforcement teams to seal the shops that are selling mutton beyond Rs 600 per kg.
“If there are rate violations, people can call us on the toll-free number 18001807106,” he said, adding that their department’s enforcement teams will intensify the inspection to check on the mutton rates and they will deal strictly with the offenders.
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