The meat vendors’ tshogpa in Thimphu is disappointed with the outcome of the meeting conducted last Tuesday with the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) as their proposal to revise the meat prices by 25-30 percent was not approved. The meat vendors are now planning to take the matter to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The meat vendors asked for a consideration on a temporary revision of the meat prices for the time being, until the sale of meat closes for a month, in 10 days’ time.
“Some (meat vendors) out of frustration say they don’t feel the need for the tshogpa or meat committee or trade when they are not even considered in their bad times, when their businesses are already affected, but to follow the mandated price irrespective of the situation,” said the representative of the meat vendors’ tshogpa, Mahindra Ghalley.
Meanwhile, trade officials pointed out that the hike in prices and the supply cut of meat are being done for the sole reason of a price revision, and therefore, causing an artificial shortage in the market.
A meat consumer in Thimphu, Leki Zangpo, said he feels bad to see the meat vendors going through such difficult times in an expensive place like Thimphu.
“I think, for the time being, they should be allowed to sell as proposed, as the price is not so high. After all, it’s the consumer’s choice, whether to buy or not. Looking at the number of consumers coming to buy, the vendors can order as per the demand, those who do not wish to consume are not at loss, others who want to buy will do so irrespective of the price,” Leki Zangpo added.
“We asked for the permission to sell at the similar prices as to the ones at Paro for the time being, but they didn’t approve our proposal. There wasn’t any clear response,” said Mahindra Ghalley.
Now with no choice left, some meat vendors in Thimphu are planning to import and sell meat at the same rates like in Paro, at the risk of getting their trade license cancelled if caught.
In places like, Paro, Punakha and Wangduephodrang, the supply of meat is still on as it is sold at a higher price than the government mandated price.
The sale of meat will be allowed till May 27 and will be shut down for a month, nationwide, starting from May 28. The last meat price revision was done almost 10 months ago.