Price shoots up by Rs.50, fuel price hike blamed
With each festival, one digs deeper into one’s pocket and this year’s Bakrid, being celebrated on Saturday, is no different. Mutton, crucial to the festival, is dearer by Rs. 50, being sold between Rs. 360 and Rs. 380 a kg.
R. Chotu Qureshi, president, Karnataka State Sheep and Goat Rearers and Mutton Merchants’ Association, attributed the price rise to the high transportation costs following the hike in petrol and diesel prices.
“Earlier, merchants from Tamil Nadu used to buy sheep from Karnataka, creating a scarcity here. But this time, the failure of the monsoon has badly affected the poultry and dairy sectors and our merchants are buying from other States. In fact, prices are higher in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.”
Tradition demands that Muslims sacrifice sheep and share the mutton with family, friends and the poor. “With no standard rate fixed for a kilogram of a whole animal, most people are being cheated. To avoid this, we have fixed a standard rate of Rs. 190 for a kg of a whole animal,” Mr. Qureshi said.
The standard rate was fixed on Wednesday as most people prefer to buy the animals for sacrifice on the eve of Eid. “This is because most people in cities do not have space to keep the animal for days together.”
The price rice has not dented the festival mood for many.
“Every year prices shoot up. Whatever the rates, we have to celebrate. But with prices of all other commodities also going up, festivals are definitely becoming expensive,” said Rafiq Ahmed from Lakkasandra.
V. Abdul Khader, a mutton merchant in Russell Market here, said: “Our usual customer base has not changed at all. We have regular customers who come from various parts of the city.”
But there are some like Mohammed Asif, who bought a whole animal from the Chamarajpet sheep market. “The base price this time is nothing less than Rs. 10,000 here. It is difficult for the salaried class to spend so much.”