Pocket pinch for non-veg­e­tar­i­ans

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - METRO - Mukesh Ku­mar Mishra

PATNA: With city gear­ing up for ush­er­ing in the New Year, prices of mut­ton and chicken are likely to soar due to rise in de­mand for the meat prod­ucts in house­holds, restau­rants and clubs.

In­sid­ers in the trade say the prices of mut­ton and chicken have al­ready shot up due to short sup­ply ow­ing to the pre­vail­ing cold con­di­tions.

“Mut­ton prices have al­ready touched R325-R350 per kg in many mar­kets in the city. It’s likely to rise to R400 on New Year’s day,” said Muhammed Su­laiman, owner of a meat shop in Patna city.

Mo­hammed Sha­habud­din, a meat shop owner on Bor­ing Canal Road mar­ket, also echoed Su­laiman’s tone, stat­ing that re­tail­ers had no op­tion but to hike the rates due to short sup­ply of mut­ton.

“The meat con­sump­tion has also in­creased, jack­ing up the prices of mut­ton,” he said, adding that prices of goats mostly coming from dis­tricts and neigh­bour­ing states have in­creased lead­ing to rise in mut­ton prices.

The same is the story for poul­try items, es­pe­cially chicken and eggs. In city’s main lo­cali- ties like Bor­ing Road, Raja Bazaar, Kankerbagh and also in Patna City, prices of un­dressed chicken var­ied from R110 to R120 this week. Dressed chick­ens were be­ing sold at R150 per kg, ven­dors said. Traders also high­lighted that the mar­ket rates of mut­ton and chicken only fluc­tu­ate in lean sea­son, and not dur­ing the time when the de­mand was high. “Dur­ing win­ter and mar­riage sea­son, meat prices nor­mally go up. This year it has risen dras­ti­cally due to the mar­riage sea­son stretch­ing long,” said Iqbal, the owner of Patna Chicken Cen­tre near Patna Junc­tion. Need­less to say, fish lovers are not spared from the price hike with prices of rohu and other fresh water fishes go­ing up in the mar­ket.

Sea fishes like pom­fret, bhetki and prawns that have seen an in­crease in con­sump­tion in re­cent years in the city have also be­come dearer with prices rang­ing from R350 to R600 per kg, de­pend­ing on the qual­ity.

A sec­tion of traders also feel that the rise in num­ber of bud­get ho­tels, fast food out­lets and Ke­bab out­lets in the city has played a big role in jack­ing up the meat prices as the food kiosks mostly take sup­plies from lo­cal ven­dors. Cus­tomers, es­pe­cially those in the lower in­come group, are feel­ing the pinch of the rise in prices of mut­ton and poul­try items. “Prices of mut­ton seem to be more volatile than the share mar­ket. Just a few days back, I had pur­chased 1 kg mut­ton for R300. But to­day morn­ing, I was sur­prised to find that the prices have in­creased by R50 a kg. This is not fair,” said Pammi Ku­mar, a trader based in Patna City area.

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