Pocket pinch for non-vegetarians
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.