Residents of Kashmir valley go on shopping spree for Eid-ul-Azha

Srinagar, Aug 21: Markets in Kashmir valley, particularly in the summer capital, wore a festive look today as residents went on a shopping spree, including for sacrificial animals, to prepare for Eid-ul-Azha which would be celebrated here tomorrow.

Sheep and goats worth crores would be sacrificed over the next three days to mark the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim, in which he had offered to sacrifice his only son, Prophet Ismail, as an act of obedience for Allah.

The meat of the sacrificial animals would then be distributed among relatives, friends and needy people.

The Consumer Affairs Department fixed a ceiling of Rs 210 per kilogram of live animal but the rate list was being observed in breach, indicating a higher demand for the animals this year.

“The rate list issued by the government departments exists only on paper as the animals are sold at the rate of Rs 240 to Rs 260 per kilogram,” Mohammad Ishaq, a city resident, said.

A mutton dealer has brought in camels from Rajasthan to be sacrificed this Eid. While few people showed interest in buying these animals, a large crowd gathered at places where these are put on sale.

Some animals are fetching the mutton dealers three to four times the actual value.

“We are selling the live animals at Rs 220 per kg but there are some sheep and goats which have higher price. The customers are willing to pay more for animals which look beautiful,” Mohammad Ayoub, a mutton dealer, said.

Elsewhere, bakeries, confectioneries and ready-made garment showrooms witnessed heavy footfall over the past few days as people made purchases for Eid.

However, the business community claimed that the sales were not as good as they had expected.

We have had a tough decade with agitations claiming three seasons in 2008, 2010 and 2016. Then we had 2014 floods which have badly affected the financial condition of the people,” Sajad Ahmad, a shopkeeper, said.

He said extension of GST to Jammu and Kashmir preceded by demonetisation in 2016 also had adverse effect on business in Kashmir.

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