Chicken is being sold at a record high price in the twin cities, as nowadays one kilogram chicken is available for Rs160 to Rs170.
According to sources in the chicken market, it is the record increase in the price of chicken in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad because more than 50 per cent chicken is being smuggled to Afghanistan, Iran and some other countries to earn more and more profit.
The city district administration is witnessing the drama of increase in poultry prices as a silent spectator. Its officials told ‘The News’ that they could not take any action because chicken prices are fixed on daily basis in the wholesale markets.
Chicken was available in the markets of twin cities for Rs105 to Rs110 per kilogram in June. However, it is being sold for Rs160 to Rs170 per kilogram in Rawalpindi for the last three days. Every day Rs5 to Rs10 increase is made in price of chicken.
According to Poultry Research Institute (PRI), the current price of chicken was beyond the reach of the common man. The concerned officials on the condition of anonymity told ‘The News’ that they have called an emergency meeting in which poultry businessmen would participate. “Participants of the meeting will take up the issue of record increase in the prices of chicken. Chicken price will decrease in a month,” they assured.
All Pakistan Poultry Association (APPA) Chairman Dr Muhammad Aslam admitted the fact that it is a record increase in chicken price in Rawalpindi. He said that more than 20% of birds die in every poultry farm because of hot and humid weather and long spells of electricity loadshedding. “The owners of more than 30% poultry farms had closed down their business during the last two years because of losses,” he said. According to him, the chicken price would come down very soon.
According to All Pakistan Poultry Association (APPA) there are a total of 825 poultry farms of broiler chicken, 122 poultry farms of layer chicken and 20 poultry farms of breeder chicken in Rawalpindi.
Muhammad Riaz Kiani, a chicken wholesale dealer, said that they purchase birds at higher rate and fix the retail rate according to it on daily basis. The concerned government department and tycoons of the poultry industry fix rates of the chicken, he said.
Niaz Ahmed, a government employee, said that he could not afford to buy chicken at such a high price. “Poor ate chicken curry on Eid, but now we don’t have the power to purchase the costly meat. The concerned authorities should take action against poultry tycoons rather than providing them a free hand to loot the public, he demanded.
Sadia Akhtar, a patient admitted in the District Headquarters Hospital, said that doctors have advised her chicken soup every day. “My husband is unable to purchase chicken for Rs160 to Rs170 per kilogram as he works in a private company on a meagre salary,” she said. She said that the government should stop chicken smuggling to other countries to make the deficiencies of food items for the countrymen.