Poultry meat scarcity hits Dimapur as traders shut trade after spike in rate

Poultry meat scarcity hits Dimapur as traders shut trade after spike in rate
Wayside poultry shops at Duncan Basti area Dimapur wears a deserted look on Thursday. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, MAR 18 (NPN) | Publish Date: 3/18/2021 12:43:20 PM IST
Poultry meat has become almost unavailable in markets under Dimapur Municipal Council’s (DMC) jurisdiction as poultry traders here have halted trade after their counterparts in Assam increased wholesale rate from Rs 100-120 to Rs 155-160 per kg. 
The local poultry traders are in a fix as they cannot hike retail prices following the hike in wholesale prices as DMC had fixed rates at Rs 140 for live chicken and Rs 180 for dressed meat. Traders caught selling at higher rates earlier were even fined Rs 2,000 to 3,000. 
Meren Aier, a poultry trader from Rail Bazaar here, lamented that he was not able to run his business for the last two weeks, which has badly affected him. 
DMC assures price review within this week 
He pointed out that while the wholesale price in Assam had been increased to more than that of the price fixed by the DMC, poultry traders under the municipal council’s jurisdiction could not hike the retail price, thereby forcing them to halt their business.  
“How can one run a business by selling chicken at a retail price of Rs 140 after buying it for Rs 155-160 from whole sellers in Assam?” questioned Aier. 
He further stated that a letter addressed to DMC had been sent by the poultry on March 12, requesting the authority to review the rates fixed by them. He claimed that even when the rate was fixed at Rs 140 for live chicken by DMC, many traders sold it for Rs 120 per kg when wholesale price in Assam dropped to Rs 80-100 per kg. 
Echoing Aier, Keyigwalung, another poultry trader, said the hike in wholesale price in Assam and DMC’s rates left them with no other option but to shut their trade for the past two weeks. 
He alleged that some poultry sellers outside DMC’s jurisdiction were selling live chicken at Rs 180 per kilo and Rs 240 for dressed meat. He said the traders would resume selling chicken, if they were allowed to sell at Rs 170 for live weight. 
When contacted, DMC administrator Albert Ezung confirmed that the municipal council had received an application calling for reviewing the rates and said it was accordingly reviewing it and comparing the prices in neighbouring areas. 
He pointed out that DMC could not just reduce or hike rates as there were many factors that needed to be taken into consideration. Ezung acknowledged that he had received confirmation from inspectors confirming that prices of poultry in Assam had been increased. 
Mentioning that DMC was collecting and comparing prices in neighbouring areas, he assured that the fixed rates for poultry would be reviewed within this week. 
When asked what might be reason for the sudden increase of rates in poultry, Ezung felt that it could be due to the increase in fuel prices, poultry feeds, etc. 

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