Chicken traders and retailers go on strike against uniform rate policy

Khalid Iqbal
Thursday, Nov 30, 2023

Rawalpindi:Poultry business tycoons, poultry traders’ organisations, distributors, wholesalers, and poultry retailers are not only pressurising but ‘blackmailing’ the district administration, Rawalpindi as well through a baseless strike of chicken sellers all around the city. There was no chicken in Rawalpindi due to a strike of chicken sellers here on Wednesday.

Poultry business tycoons, poultry trader organizations, distributors, wholesalers, and poultry retailers are demanding local administration to increase the prices of chicken. Where were the poultry tycoons when 1 kilogram of chicken meat was selling at Rs750 to Rs850 some months back? Why poultry tycoons did not observe a strike at that time when they were earning over 100 per cent profit and looting the public with both hands?

The poor consumers were not buying chicken at cheaper rates in the present situation but were purchasing 1 kilogram of chicken meat at Rs540 to Rs580.

Poultry tycoons, poultry traders’ organizations, distributors, wholesalers, and poultry retailers have gone on strike for an indefinite period against the ‘uniform rates’ of poultry. The poultry tycoons wanted to further increase the rates of chicken. The poultry tycoons have also stopped the supply of eggs and warned the local administration, Rawalpindi to increase the prices of chicken otherwise strike will continue for an indefinite time.

The distributors, wholesalers, and retailers have stopped selling chicken and eggs. The Poultry Association of Abbottabad district and Chakwal district also announced their support for the strike and stopped the supply of chicken as a result of which the twin cities ran short of poultry items all around. It is worth mentioning here that the government has already increased chicken prices by over 300 per cent in three years. Chicken meat was easily available at cheaper rates of Rs160 to Rs200 per kilogram. On Eidul Azha days, chicken meat was available at Rs100. But, now for three years, people have been buying chicken meat at skyrocketing prices between Rs600 to Rs850.

Nowadays, 1 kilogram of chicken meat is selling at Rs540 to Rs580, it was the ‘uniform rate’ of the local administration, Rawalpindi. However, poultry tycoons have observed a strike and pressurizing the local administration, Rawalpindi to increase chicken prices. Wholesale Poultry Association President Malik Ghazanfar, Suppliers Association President Raja Waqas Abbasi, and Retailers Association President Zaheer Abbas Abbasi told ‘The News’ that the strike will continue and protest camp has been established on Hamilton Road Dingi Khoi, Rawalpindi.

They said the local administration was constantly increasing pressure on them because the Punjab chief secretary had directed them to enforce a uniform rate of chicken across the province.

Wholesale Poultry Association President Malik Ghazanfar said the rate of chicken in Rawalpindi should be the yardstick for issuing rates for other districts of Punjab. “The associations are of the view that implementation of uniform rate is unjust for Rawalpindi traders because there is no production or farming of chicken in Rawalpindi or its vicinity, here chicken comes from other distant districts including Sargodha, Mandi Bahauddin and Gujranwala and they have to pay transportation and labour charges,” he said.

He also said that transportation and labour charges increased the chicken price by Rs40 per kg so it would be difficult for them to sell the chicken at the rate of Lahore or other districts. “The uniform rate will cost the traders and it will be difficult for them to do business,” he said. He said that most of the traders do business on credit and instalment and doing business under this policy will be difficult for them. He said supply and demand factor determine the daily rate of chicken in the local market.