Vendors reject official chicken prices

Refuse to sell chicken at Rs435 per kg rate, threaten strike

Qaiser Shirazi April 22, 2024


Chicken sellers in the city staged a demonstration outside the Rawalpindi Press Club to reject the official prices of chicken meat. They also observed a full-fledged strike over the price mechanism. The strike was announced by the Chicken Retailers Association in response to the unilateral decrease in chicken rates by the district administration.

The price of chicken has surged in the open market, with live chicken selling at Rs550 per kg and chicken meat at Rs850 per kg. However, Deputy Commissioner Hassan Waqar Cheema fixed the retail rate of chicken at Rs435.

The demonstration lasted for about two hours during which the shopkeepers displayed banners and placards advocating for their demands. Progressing along the Murree Road, the shopkeepers vocally expressed their protest by shouting slogans and later dispersed peacefully.

The president of the Poultry Retailers Association, Zaheer Abbasi said that the wholesale market and suppliers are providing them with chicken at a rate of Rs495 per kg. “With the increasing transportation costs and our profit margin factored in, how it is possible for us to sell chicken at Rs435 per kg.” He said the retailers would be happy to sell chicken at Rs435 per kg if the district administration could ensure the wholesale supply of chicken to the retailers at a rate of Rs400 per kg. “It’s unfair to expect us to sell chicken at a loss while the wholesale suppliers are making a profit.” He said that the government should arrest the wholesalers instead of targeting the retailers.

Rawalpindi Small Chamber president Tariq Jadoon joined the protest at Liaquat Bagh and expressed his complete solidarity with the demonstrators. He addressed the protesting vendors and questioned the logic of purchasing chicken at high prices only to sell it at lower rates.

“Today, retailers in Rawalpindi are observing the strike but tomorrow suppliers are expected to join the protest. The responsibility lies with the government and the administration to regulate prices on the part of the wholesalers,” he said, adding the administration had given open permission to the wholesalers.

Jadoon further said that the official rate stands at Rs435 per kg, while wholesalers are selling chicken at Rs495 per kg. He emphasised the need to reduce the cost of feed and chicks to make chicken more affordable. This would ultimately decrease the overall price of chicken, addressing the concerns of retailers and suppliers throughout Punjab, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2024.


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