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RAWALPINDI, July 15: The City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) on Monday launched operation against the butchers selling meat higher than official price fixed by it.

However, All Pakistan Jamiatul Quresh Association said that the government should impose ban on export of meat if it wanted to implement the rates fixed by it.

On the first day of the campaign, Additional District Collector Chaudhry Mohammad Ali Randhawa visited posh sectors of the city and imposed fines of Rs17,000 on 17 butchers for selling mutton and beef at Rs675 per kg and Rs500 per kg respectively.

The official price issued by CDGR for mutton is Rs480 per kg and beef Rs360 per kg.

The action was taken after receiving complaints from people but the focus of the campaign was on the posh sectors like Chaklala Scheme-III and Gulraiz Colony adjacent to Bahria Town and Defence Housing Authority (DHA).

CDGR seems helpless when it comes to stabilise prices in Raja Bazaar, Jamia Masjid Road, Tench Bhatta, Saddar, Sadiqabad, Satellitte Town and other dozens of areas where prices of meat were constantly on the rise.

Additional District Collector Ch Mohammad Ali Randhawa told Dawn that the CDGR had launched operation against the butchers who failed to sell meat at official price.

He said that the official price fixed after consultation with butchers.

However, All Pakistan Jamiatul Quresh Association president Khurshid Ahmed Qureshi told Dawn that the CDGR officials were not aware of the ground realities as the mutton was available in wholesale market at Rs570 per kg and it would be difficult for them to sell it at Rs480 per kg.

“The meat is being exported to neighbouring countries like Afghanistan and United Arab Emirates and if the government wants cut in prices it should impose ban on export,” he said.

On the other hand, the people expressed resentments over the increase in prices of meat and urged the government to rein in price hike.

“Mutton and beef have become precious items for low income group,” said Riaz Manzoor, a small trader and a resident of Jamia Masjid Road.

He said that the people were already facing problems in managing their kitchen budgets and the latest increase in the meat prices had forced them to avoid it.

He said that people had now turned to vegetables. Faraz Ahmed, a resident of Nayya Mohallah, said that mostly people took mutton or beef during Ramazan but the prices of meat had made it beyond the common man reach.

“The price of chicken has decreased in Ramazan but meat prices have increased,” he said.