The Meat vendors and the Meat committee jointly revised the prices after the vendors shared that the base price of meat has hiked and meat has to be transported in meat vans which charge Nu 10 per kg.
This comes as pleasing news for the meat vendors who complained for weeks about the difficulties to bring in Beef and also for the majority Bhutanese who thought their Blessed Rainy day feasts could go bland in absence of the beef menu.
The import of beef would resume from today after a meeting held between the meet committee and meat vendors yesterday agreed to increase the prices of meat.
For more than two months the vendors had stopped importing beef but other meats like pork, chicken and fish were imported when those meat prices were hiked comparatively low with that of beef.
After considering the increased meat price in base, the committee revised meat prices with the condition that in future if the meat price reduces it shall be revised again.
About 26 meat vendors from Thimphu proposed to revise meat prices due to hike in base price, increased transportation charges and taxes.
However the vendors were encouraged to find the sources of meat within the country rather than importing from India when the country is undergoing INR crunch.
“We are not issuing the permit to import meat from India,” Director of Trade, Sonam Wangchuk said. He said that the vendors should look for meat sources within the country only for quality meat and those meat sourced within the country has no hand for the meat committee and Trade Ministry to fix the price.
District Livestock Officer who has been appointed as the Meat committee chairman supplemented to the Trade Director about vendors to look for meat sources within the country. He said that the meat vendors are importing meat from Nepal without knowing the quality of the meat, risking the lives of Bhutanese consumers.
He said that the prices of meat vary from place to place and the price set by the meat committee in Thimphu will affect within Thimphu only. This according to him is due to the difference in location and charges incurred while transporting the meat.
He clarified to meat vendors that the Meat committee do not have hands over the prices of local meat which the vendors sell and each vendor can have difference in the price of local meat unlike the imported meat.
He also said that there are so many unproductive cattle across the country wherein farmers are willing to sell it for meat and yet vendors still go on looking for meat sources in India.
However the vendors shared their challenges while looking for meat sources within the country.
“We do not have many slaughter houses in the country and it is not encouraged by the dzongkhag,” meat vendor Mahindra Galley said. He also said that the lone slaughter house in Tsirang over charge the vendors and the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) sternly recommend for standard slaughter house.
Which is why he said that the vendors can easily import meat from India rather than from within the country.
However having the price revised, it has solved many challenges for the vendors while importing meat from India.
“I was left with no option but to stop importing beef if the meat Committee did not revise the price,” owner of Chamling meat shop, Mon Maya said.
The meat committee revised meat prices with the condition that the vendors should have the price board displayed in their respective shops and any vendors who charges more will be fined Nu 10,000.
The appointed chairman from the meat vendors Bhakta Bdr. Subba 34 said that he would ensure all the vendors import quality meat and provide standard weights and measures to the customer.