The city butchers have approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) against what they called “the discriminatory attitude” of Rawalpindi administration on the issue of meat prices.
Haji Abdul Sattar, President United Meat Association (UMA) through his lawyer, Advocate Malik Jawad Khalid, approached the Rawalpindi bench of the LHC against the lower rates of mutton and beef.
Naming district coordination office, secretary district price control committee and price control magistrate as respondents, the petitioner said he was representing the butchers of the city and asking for the same rates of mutton and beef in Rawalpindi as fixed in Islamabad.
“Butchers of the twin cities buy meat from Sihala slaughter house and different cattle markets, after paying taxes. But the administration of Rawalpindi has been forcing the butchers to sell mutton for Rs370 per kg and beef Rs200 per kg, which is not viable for them,” the petitioner said. The butchers in the capital are allowed to sell mutton for Rs520 per kg and beef for Rs300 per kg, according to the petition.
DCO Rawalpindi called a meeting of city traders and butchers to discuss the prices of daily-use items in May this year, and fixed the prices of all items in consultation with the traders. But no attention was given to the pleas of the butcher, while fixing the price of meat.
Meanwhile, the price magistrate has continuously been imposing heavy fines on the butchers on one pretext or another. The petitioner said the city administration should be stopped from imposing heavy fines on the poor butchers.
The UMA president added that they were “forced” to go on strike and had stopped selling the commodities for a week in Rawalpindi. They resumed business after assurances from the district government that they would not be subjected to fines in future. But the government backed out of their words.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2011.