Last week, the administration in Kashmir fixed the retail price of mutton at Rs 480 per kilogram. Even as the revised rate is a hike of Rs 40 to the last government notified rate of 2016, the dealers continue to defy the orders. The mutton is sold at Rs 600 per kilogram and a forum claiming to be representing the traders have claimed that the price at which the mutton is sold is rational given the rates outsides. However, the government has stuck to the rates and considers the dealers as violators. The government has warned them against overcharging the customers and has been filing FIRs against them to make them fall in the line. On the other hand, the dealers continue to resent the move. In no uncertain terms, they have expressed their inability to sell the mutton at the price fixed by the government.
The consumers are certainly caught in the tussle of sorts and most people have no way to enforce what has been fixed even as they want mutton prices far lesser than what they are made to pay. There is no doubt that people would in all situations want the prices to come down given the fact that the lesser the prices better the deal. However, they would never want dealers to get an unfair deal.
The government while fixing the price stated that representatives of the dealers were consulted. Besides the technical team of the Sheep Husbandry department presented a realistic scenario of the production cost of the mutton industry as regards how much the retail rate should be even after ensuring the dealers get their due profit. After taking all these aspects into consideration, the new retail rate of mutton was fixed, the government maintains.
In the past people have witnessed that the dealers continue to sell the mutton at higher prices as against government fixed rate. It is important that the concerned authorities settle this matter once for all. There is no point having such situation repeating time and again. The issue is far from settled and needs to be settled amicably. The common consumer is left confused and he finally follows the forces of the market. There is a need for a long-lasting solution and even if needed, resettle the issue. If the government is so confident that the price set by it is rational, tough action should be taken against the dealers while ensuring that they get the due profit. In no case shall they be allowed to indulge in profiteering.