GUJRANWALA: People thronged cattle markets two days before Eidul Azha in the hope of striking a bargain, but prices remained at their peak in the Gujranwala area.
Among the visitors were those who repeatedly ventured to the markets in the hope to find a good deal within their budget.
Soaring animal prices keep buyers at bay
Cattle markets in Alam Chowk, Awan Chowk, Muafi Wala, Chanda Qilla, Ghaggar, Alipur, Kamonki, Wazirabad and Naushera Wirka were the busiest with customers and sellers haggling away. However, the markets lacked facilities to meet the requirements of sellers and buyers. There were insufficient arrangements for drinking water for cattle and humans and shelter from the scorching sun. Vendors brought their own tents along to provide shade for their cattle and customers. These traders were also charging a premium on their cattle due to the extra service provided by them.
A vendor named Muhammad Azeem told Express News that he came from Ahmadpur East with his goats and bulls. “I came here a week back and could only manage to sell one goat,” he said. “I have to pay expenses for the space that I acquired in the cattle market and fodder of the animals; all of which costs a fair amount.”
Azeem continued that he would have no choice but to add these expenses to the prices of cattle and charge customers accordingly. “This is the right of every vendor.”
He added there were no proper security arrangements in cattle markets and this was a fear which kept sellers awake at night. Others also complained about the absence of veterinary doctors.
Meanwhile, some customers were rather excited about their purchase(s). “I bought a goat for Rs30,000 on the insistence of my children,” said Salim Nasir, a local resident. “They are excited about getting the goat and I had to spend my savings to buy the animal.”
Prices of sacrificial animals soar ahead of Eid
On the other hand, Mohsin Rizvi was not able to strike a deal. “I have been visiting the cattle market for a couple of days now and am still not able to find a sacrificial animal within my budget.”
He added prices in the cattle market were much higher than last year. “It seems difficult to find a goat within my buying capacity. So far sellers have not lowered prices to cover travelling expenses and the costs associated with keeping animals in cattle markets,” he remarked.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2018.