Exactly a month ago, the administration fixed the retail price of mutton at Rs 480 per kilogram. While the price is Rs 40higher than the previously fixed rate in 2016, it’s about Rs 120 less than what the dealers were selling the highly sought after commodity in Kashmir with a consumption of around 1,000 lakh kg/year. The mutton dealers were selling it around Rs 500 but with the advent of covid-19 and shutdown forced by it, the prices shoot up and the dealers would sell it at Rs 550 and then at Rs600. A forum claiming to be representing the dealers has claimed that Rs 600/kg is rational given the rates outside the J&K. At the same time, the administration has stuck to the rates and considers the dealers as violators. The government has warned them against overcharging. 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. 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. With a month into new rates fixed by the administration, the commodity has become rare and some unscrupulous dealers are selling it at Rs 600 and that too with offal. Some dealers are selling the mutton at the officially fixed price but it is alleged to be of substandard quality and that too mainly ewes with a substantial weight of offal. Apart from ensuring the selling of mutton at the price fixed, the government should also ensure the quality of the commodity. Issues should be resolved amicably and if there is room to revisit the matter, the government should do it without haste. Otherwise, tough action should be taken against violators to ensure compliance to the rates fixed as well as the quality of the commodity.