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Beef gets dearer ahead of Shab-e-Barat
The price of beef increased further in the city kitchen markets ahead of the holy occasion of Shab-e-Barat, a religious event to be observed across the country on Sunday night.
Visits to some kitchen markets by the FE correspondents on Saturday suggested that beef was selling between Tk 560 and Tk 580 per kg depending on the quality.
Traders said it might surge further in next few days amid increase in the prices of animal.
Buffalo meat was selling at Tk 500 a kg. Mutton (Khasi), however, was static at Tk 750-Tk 800 a kg.
The two city corporations (DNCC, DSCC) were yet to set prices of the red-meat though the holy months of Ramadan will begin in next two weeks.
The price of beef is rising at a time when cattle are much cheaper in the country now than that of a year ago, according to government officials.
Meat sellers, traders and the authority of permanent cattle market of Dhaka, Gabtoli Haat, blamed each other for such high price.
The state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data showed that the price of beef increased by 7.0 per cent in a week.
TCB data also revealed that the current price is above 15 per cent higher than that of a year ago.
Zillur Rahman, a meat seller at Kaderabad Housing of Mohammadpur area in the city, said Gabtoli Haat authority has raised taxes on cow purchase in the recent days.
He said the price of animal also increased by 10-12 per cent in last two weeks.
He said an ox weighing 100 kgs is now selling at Tk 48,000-Tk 50,000 when we have to give tax (hasil) Tk 4,000-Tk 7,000 per cow against the government fixed rate of Tk 150.
He said the authority is realising such big amount as we have no DNCC authorised licence.
Bangladesh Meat Merchants Association secretary general Rabiul Islam said licence-holder traders can buy a cow at the cattle market by paying Tk 150 as tax, whereas others have to pay 5.0 per cent of the cattle price.
More than 8,000 applications for licences have been pending with Dhaka North City Corporation for years, prompting the Gabtoli lease holders to realise more amount as tax, he said.
"We have met the DNCC authority ten times in this regard, but got no solution," he said. Department of Livestock Service (DLS) director general Dr Hiresh Ranjan Bhowmik said the supply of local cattle may rise by 20 per cent this year as 0.2 million people enter the cow rearing business newly in last six months.
He said availability of cattle will be more than 11 million before the two eid festivals as against 9.0 million in 2018. Mr. Bhowmik said the price of cow is now much cheaper than that of a year ago as an ox weighing 100-125 kgs was selling at Tk 35,000-Tk 38,000 in district level which was more than Tk 40,000 last year.
The city corporations last year fixed the beef price at Tk 450 per kg, buffalo Tk 420 a kg, mutton (khasi) at Tk 720 and normal mutton (bokri, patha) at Tk 600 a kg for the month of last Ramadan.