Prices soar, demand falls in Gilgit

The soaring prices of animals in Gilgit this year have deprived many from performing sacrifice this Eidul Azha.

Shabbir Mir November 03, 2010

GILGIT: As Eid approaches, the prices of animals are increasing each day putting pressure on locals. The soaring prices of animals in Gilgit this year have deprived many from performing ‘qurbani’ (sacrifice) this Eidul Azha.

“Having visited a number of dealers and inquired about the rates of animals, I have reached the conclusion that this time around ‘Qurbani’ is beyond my reach,” Tahir Khan, a shopkeeper in Jutial said. “Where is the government? Who is monitoring the prices in the market these days,” he said.

Traders have started bringing in herds from various valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan to Gilgit, even though there are still another 20 days till Eid. “We have brought these animals from Naltar so that people don’t have to go too far in search of animals,” said Mohammad Abbas, a dealer in Gilgit.

“We have to feed till someone buys them so we add that to the price we sell the animals for,” he said.

Business this year, according to many dealers, is not as good as last year. “Given the situation in the country it’s no surprise that most people cannot afford to buy animals to sacrifice this year,” Saleem Ahmed, another dealer in Gilgit said.

According to details collected in Gilgit, an ordinary animal costs over Rs 7,000.

“I think usually 15,000 animals are slaughtered in Gilgit town alone every year, but Im sure this year it will much less as no one can afford to buy animals,” Mahrukh Bibi, a resident of Gilgit, said.

Ajaz Wali, a resident of Kashrote, said that last year he had purchased two goats for Eid but sadly this year he could only afford one.

“There is no check on the prices, these dealers charge whatever they want and are taking undue advantage of our religious compulsions,” Mushtaq Ali, another resident of Kashrote said.

The people of Gilgit have appealed to their local government to take action against the increase in prices that have caused many difficulties in the day to day lives of people.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2010.


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