The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Party President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Thursday rued the failure of the administration to remove the deadlock over the fixation of mutton prices saying the lack of ability to take all stakeholders into confidence for a speedy resolution has aggravated the woes of people.
On the scarcity of Mutton from the markets across Kashmir, party president said the government’s silence on the crises induced by the unavailability of mutton in the markets has disturbed normal life of citizens. He said the absence of farsightedness and timely decisions have created crises like situations. The absence of a robust grievance mechanism to mitigate the issues of people, he said has further aggravated the miseries of people on different accounts.
“The issue of Mutton dealers has been lingering around for five month now. The administration on its part has not been able to find an amicable resolution to the impending issue by taking all stakeholders on board. Mutton is an essential part of the local dietetic routine. In addition to that situation of the people associated with the trade is no less deplorable than the consumers. The mutton trade, it goes without saying is one of most important sources of employment in the region. The entire lot of people which directly or indirectly depends on mutton trade has also been at the receiving end all through,” he said.
He said there was an urgent need to find an amicable solution to the issues as various festivals were arriving in the days and weeks to come. “Herath and Mehraj Un Nabi (pbuh) observances are approaching and the mutton is off the markets. It is the duty of the administration to ensure that the people aren’t made to suffer due to the impasse. The situation, if it continues, will dampen the festivities. Therefore it is expected that the administration will take all the concerned parties on board to end the stalemate by protecting the interests of the consumers as well as people associated with the vocation,” he added.
He said the administration should remove anomalies in the process of fixing rates by coming up with an effective mechanism to fix the rates. “Every few months we get to hear that a committee is being formed to fix the rates. The issue has to be dealt with once for all by having a coordinated mechanism in place to take care price fixing,” he said. He further impressed upon the administration to ensure that the matter is solved without any further delay to ensure that incoming festive occasions aren’t dampened.
He also urged the government to establish special fair price depots for the purchase of fish, walnuts, and other commodities for pundit brethren on the Herath festival. He said similar fair price depots should be established across Jammu division.