Nation Other News 10 Jul 2017 From today, chicken ...

From today, chicken stalls to keep shutters down in Kerala

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | T SUDHEESH
Published Jul 10, 2017, 2:07 am IST
Updated Jul 10, 2017, 2:07 am IST
State faulted for deadlock.
The poultry federation representatives offered to slash prices up to Rs 100, but finance minister Thomas Isaac insisted that they sell chicken for Rs 87 only.
 The poultry federation representatives offered to slash prices up to Rs 100, but finance minister Thomas Isaac insisted that they sell chicken for Rs 87 only.

ALAPPUZHA: Poultry merchants in Kerala have decided to down shutters indefinitely on Monday after their talks with finance minister Dr T.M. Thomas Isaac failed. All Kerala Poultry Federation representatives met him at his residence here on Sunday with their proposal to slash prices up to Rs 100 per kg, which he rejected and insisted on Rs 87. But merchants say they are helpless as they don’t control prices “The government has put us under extreme pressure by promising chicken at Rs 87 a kg, and the minister says the public would handle it,” its general secretary S.K. Nazeer said.

Kerala Poultry Federation blamed the government for the deadlock. "If we open shops, people will demand chicken at that rate which would create tension. We are scared of mob especially since we keep sharpened tools. So we have no other option," said general secretary S.K. Nazeer. The government fixed the price with effect from Monday factoring in the GST regime eliminating the 14.5 percent VAT. While vendors maintain that suppliers from Tamil Nadu control the market, the minister remained adamant.

 

On Sunday, he was unwilling to accept any of their formulae saying their tenacity was a challenge to the public and the government was not for a rollback. “Chicken has become tax-free. But some poultry giants in Thrissur who have a history of tax evasion are hell-bent on higher prices. They hiked price from Rs 105 to 150 per bird just before GST came into effect," he said. "So the small scale merchants must follow the government decision passing on tax benefits to consumers. As we are committed to protecting poultry farmers, traders need not bother about them. The state government will set up a special task force to check the history of their tax evasion."

 

However, Mr Nazeer pointed out that the price in Tamil Nadu, their primary source, was above Rs 100 even on Sunday. "We think the minister is ill-informed. That’s why he talks without understanding reality. He also hinted at the possibility of a truce after a meeting of merchants on Monday," he said. According to him, some 40,000 chicken shops in Kerala provide employment to a million people directly and indirectly. With a per capita consumption of 10.8 kg meat, the state consumes 875 tonnes per day against a domestic production of 321 tonnes of poultry.

 

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Location: India, Kerala




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