While at a time the country has been faced with a blanket ban on beef sale resulting in a dearth of bovine meat sale, in Kerala, the state that stood up with protests against beef-ban, is now faced a rather awkward situation with unavailability of chicken meat, the second most sought after non-veg to beef.
It is not any dictum of saffron terror groups but the newly introduced GST took away the availability of chicken meat from them. On Monday onwards, the shops that sell chicken in the state has put down their shutters over stalemate between the government and them in the price of chicken to be sold in the state.
The scarcity of chicken has stemmed from protest of chicken traders in Kerala to shut their shops from Monday after the discussion with Finance Minister Thomas Isaac had failed. The debate and the ensuing chicken sale stoppage in the state has come to the fore after the minister came down heavily on chicken traders of the state and warned that from Monday onward, chicken should be sold in the state only at Rs 87 per kg. Minister has furnished the reason that the price of chicken which was Rs 103 per kg on 30 June should have been reducd by Rs 15 as the 14% tax was completely withdrawn after the GST regime came into force. The minister also blamed that chicken trade in the state is concentrated in few hands, and the government will expand the state-run KEPCO's capacity so that the private monopoly is broken.
Meanwhile, the chicken traders of the state have come in a pack to protest minister's claim and explained that it is not viable for them to sell chicken for such a price since it brings a heavy loss to them.
They said that it is nearly impossible to sell chicken at such a price and since they buy chicks for Rs 45.50. The price for it to groom amounts to heavy spending as a sack of chicken food costs around Rs 1,400. They have said they are shutting down the shops without any option in the near front of them other than bearing a big loss which they can't affor as of now.
Minster Thomas Issac responding to the chicken traders said that the decision of theirs is a challenge to the governmet and the public. He also blamed the big sharks of the industry behind the exorbitant price rise of hens in the state. He also said that the Tamil Nadu poultry farmers have said to increase the production of chicken, the traders here in the state are not ready to bring down the price of the chicks. He also said that government will not set for any compromise.
Meanwhile, chick traders of the state have told that they are ready to sell chicken at Rs 100 and are ready for another meeting.