KARACHI: While taking full advantage of ineffective price checking mechanism and soaring demand ahead of Eidul Fitr, meat merchants came out with another price jump of Rs50-100 per kg in veal beef rates.
The new price of veal meat with and without bones charged by various meat merchants is Rs750 and Rs850 per kg which was Rs630-650 and Rs730-750 ahead of Ramazan in various areas.
Some retailers have pushed up prices by Rs100 per kg to Rs700 per kg for meat with bones and Rs800 per kg without bones.
Prior to Ramazan, veal meat prices were raised by Rs50 per kg.
Defiant dealers have raised prices by up to Rs150 per kg in Ramazan
Amid looming threat of rising coronavirus cases in the ongoing third wave and imposition of lockdown from May 10 to 15, people have gone wild about purchasing veal meat especially without bones. The government has strictly issued instructions to cease unnecessary movement of people during Eid holidays.
A buyer, who purchased veal meat at Water Pump F.B. Area, said the meat seller charged him Rs750 with bones and Rs850 per kg without bones blaming huge exports of meat to various countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates etc, which is causing livestock shortage in the markets.
The buyer expressed surprise that cash-rich consumers had made any effort to ask about the enhanced price as they were more interested in buying veal meat at any cost.
He said the city government, like past practice, has been playing no role in protecting the consumers’ interest and instead it seems that it has given a go-ahead to the meat mafia to fleece the consumers before and during the last days of the holy month.
Mutton traders had already given a price jerk of Rs100 per kg ahead of Ramazan and now mutton price hovers between Rs1,300-1,500 per kg in different areas. Some greedy retailers are demanding Rs1,600 per kg.
Meat merchant attributed rising prices of meat to soaring wholesale prices. A two-maund veal price has now reached Rs51,000-52,000 from Rs48,000-50,000 ahead of Ramazan while two months back, it was Rs40,000-44,000.
They said the 10kg goat rate has risen by Rs2,000-2,500 in the last one month to Rs13,000.
Surprisingly, the commissioner of Karachi’s price list available on the website reveals the price of veal with and without bones at Rs380 and Rs 470 per kg, respectively, followed by the mutton rate at Rs740 per kg with a notice on the list which states “validity period: till further order”.
President of the Dairy and Cattle Farmers Association Shakir Gujjar said Pakistan produces 45pc fodder while 55pc is imported. Due to high cost of imported fodder as well as local feed, livestock farmers are avoiding cattle farming which is evident from rising slaughtering of calf and pregnant cows.
He said the government should also ban export of fodder while its import should be made duty- and tax-free to bring down prices of livestock products.
As per data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), export of meat and meat preparations rose to 72,863 tonnes ($248m) in 9MFY21, up by 16pc in quantity and 6.54pc in value as compared to same period last fiscal year.
Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2021