Despite Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) recently fixing the prices of read meat including beef, mutton and buffaloes within its jurisdiction for Ramadan, meat traders are violating the order and charging customers higher rates.
Visiting different kitchen markets in Sukrabad, Karwan Bazar, Mohammadpur, Hatirpool and Gulistan aeras on Monday, this correspondent found that per kg beef was selling at Tk550 a kg and mutton for Tk750 per kg.
Defending themselves, traders suggested the government should reduce taxes.
“We can not sell meat at less then Tk550 a kg. Why should we incur losses following the prices set by the government?” said a meat trader at Sukrabad.
“The government should reduce value added tax,” he added.
“We have to pay some Tk20,000 in taxes for a cow. Hence, if we buy a cow for Tk40,000, its market value jumps to Tk60,000. Then, how would we sell beef at Tk475/kg?” he questioned.
Khairul Islam, another meat trader, said: “We are following the price list but being a little tricky while selling the meat.”
When asked about the tactics, he said they sell meat mixing a good amount of bones and fat, and added: “However, we sell fresh meat to our permanent customers and charge them more for that,” he said.
While there are many meat traders conforming to the government decision, most say it is just a matter of time before they raise the prices.
“We are currently trying to follow the list. This is not a big deal for the time being as we would hike the prices several days later,” said Salman Bepari of Hatirpool.
DSCC on May 23 set per kilogram price of indigenous cattle beef at Tk475, foreign cattle beef at Tk440 and buffalo meat at Tk440, while per kilogram mutton (goat) was fixed at Tk725 and mutton (sheep) at Tk620.
The DSCC Mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon then asked the meat traders to follow the new price chart, warning that the DNCC’s market monitoring team led by an executive magistrate would take legal action against the violators.