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High prices of sacrificial animals keep buyers at bay

Rawalpindi : The high prices of sacrificial animals ahead of Eidul Azha is keeping buyers at bay as despite repeated visits to the animal markets majority returns empty-handed. On the other hand, sellers of sacrificial animals blame high token tax or ‘parchi’ for each animal on their entry into the animal market as one of the reasons behind high prices.

The traders who have brought their animals from different parts of the country have complained that they are made to pay Rs3000 for every bull and Rs1000 for every goat before entering the animal market. They also complained that despite paying taxes they were not getting any facility from the market administrators or contractors. They said that they were buying a water tanker at Rs3000, the sellers said.

However, Municipal Officer (Finance) Raja Iftikhar told ‘The News’ that mandis in the jurisdiction of the cantonment board were charging taxes from sellers. The mandis in the city areas are not charging taxes either from sellers or buyers, he said.

Reliable sources told ‘The News’ that Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) has given the contract of Bhatta Chowk Animal Mandi at Rs70 million. “The private contractor was charging Rs3,000 for a bull and Rs1,000 for a goat to sellers before allowing them entry to the mandis,” the sources claimed.

Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) has also set up three markets in the outskirts of the federal capital to allow sale and purchase of sacrificial animals. The sale points have been established in suburban areas including Bhara Kahu, Taramri and Sangjani.

The data collected by ‘The News’ revealed that prices of sacrificial animals like bulls and goats and sheep are quite high this year. The dealers are demanding RsRs200,000 to Rs250,000 for a normal bull and Rs50,000 to Rs60,000 for a goat or sheep. “How could we afford a normal goat at Rs50,000 or Rs60,000 because sellers are starting their price from Rs50,000,” Muhammad Irshad a buyer told ‘The News’ here on Thursday.

Deputy Commissioner (DC), Rawalpindi Amir Aqiq Khan said that there is a complete ban on sale of sacrificial animals within the premises of the city. He also directed that the staffers and the traders at the cattle market should get vaccinated against coronavirus. The local administration, Rawalpindi has set up 10 cattle markets for sale of sacrificial animals in Rawalpindi district including three at Bhatta Chowk, Adiala Road and Chakri Road in Rawalpindi city areas.

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