The Covid-19 pandemic forced many to consider purchasing sacrificial animals online
After days of lull, the cattle market has finally gained some momentum just days before Eid-ul-Azha that will be celebrated on Wednesday.
Market insiders on Monday said that more buyers are coming to the market later, as space constraint is a big concern for city dwellers.
Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic forced many to consider purchasing sacrificial animals online, without the need for physically visiting traditional cattle markets, which health experts fear will fuel infections.
Insiders also said that market lessees will be able to earn around Tk85-100 crore this year, from all the hasil (purchase tax on sacrificial animals.)
There is a possibility of selling around 325,000 sacrificial animals, including cows and goats, in the capital's markets, they estimated.
Among these, about 280,000 cattle and 40,000 goats will be sold and from there the lessees will be able to collect Tk84.5 crore and Tk2.30 crore in hasil respectively, said the market insiders.
Their estimation was based on the average selling of animals from the last three Eid ul Azha’s data.
According to the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), around 1.19 crore animals, including cattle, goats, sheep, and camels have been reared for the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.
Dhaka North and South City Corporation officials say, 21 cattle markets, including two permanent ones in various locations, have been set up this year.
The city corporations also issued 46 conditions including hygiene directives to pull the rein of Covid-19 infection cases.
The lessees, buyers and traders have to comply with these directives, said the city corporations.
They also said that they are monitoring the lessee maintaining health directives.
Meanwhile, the DNCC mayor imposed a fine of Tk10 lakh on the Gabtoli Hat authorities and postponed hasil activities for an hour for violating the health rules on Monday.
While visiting the Gabtoli cattle market, one of the largest cattle markets of the capital, this correspondent saw a huge influx of sacrificial animals through trucks and other transports, compared to the last few days.
The size of the market has been extended by connecting the western part of Gabtali embankment with the main market premise.
This time there are 10 hasil booths in the market, and a significant number of volunteers are employed to manage them.
Various agro farms and cattle trade rented different places of the market and built their own sheds to conduct their trade.
When asked, Sanwar Hossain, a member of Gabtoli cattle market committee, said that the temporary sacrificial animals’ market was open for a total of five days, including the first day of Eid-ul-Azha, Wednesday.
He also said that they made arrangements to keep 70,000 sacrificial animals in this market, while the committee was also strict in complying with the government's hygiene directives.
As per the instructions of the city corporation, 5% is being collected as hasil on the price of the sold animals at this market.
In all the hasil booths, the rate of hasil has been clearly written and kept in a visible place. The temporary market is confined within the boundaries of specific areas and schedules, he added.
When contacted, lessees of Meradia, Dholaikhal, Bosila and Aftabnagar cattle markets also provided similar information.
A cattle trader from Jessore said that customers were not giving fair prices for cattle this year.
Even small and medium sized cattle were not getting expected prices, he added.
Moreover, there is a tendency to buy large sacrificial animals this year.
However, the traders were angry saying that the authorities are collecting additional 2% as hasil which was 3% last year.
In this regard, the authorities said that this time they took the lease of the cattle market at a higher price and they increased hasil price to make up for the high cost.
However, on condition of anonymity, an official of the city corporation said that due to a strong syndicate, the two city corporations are not getting the desired revenue from the cattle markets.
The two city corporations hope to get revenue of Tk20-22 crore from its 21 cattle markets but the lessees will collect Tk85-100 crore from as hasil. The corporation will get only 20-25% of the collected hasil revenue, he added.
The cattle market of Eid is worth Tk40,000-45,000 crore which is much higher if it includes the market of refrigerator, knife machete and rawhides.