Meat traders on Friday claimed that they will be able to sell beef at Tk 300 per kg if their four-point demand is met.
“If our demands are met and the hassles in importing cows from India are removed, we’ll be able to sell beef at Tk 300 per kg or even less,” Bangladesh Meat Traders’ Association secretary general Rabiul Alam told UNB.
He also threatened that they will go on a countrywide indefinite strike if their demands are not met at Sunday’s planned meetings with the Commerce Ministry and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC).
“We’ll sit in separate meetings with Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and the DNCC officials on Sunday to discuss our four-point demand. If the meetings end inconclusively, we’ll go on an indefinite strike across the country to press for our demands,” said Rabiul.
Bangladesh Meat Sellers’ Association and Dhaka Metropolitan Meat Sellers’ Association have been on a six-day strike in the capital beginning on Monday last to press for their demands. It is scheduled to end on Saturday.
The demands include stopping charging extra from traders by the Gabtoli Cattle Market lessee and money-laundering to India through Hundi, shifting tannery industries from Hazaribagh to Savar and withdrawing the DNCC chief executive officer and chief estate officer.
Rabiul alleged that Gabtoli Cattle Market lessee Lutfar Rahman has been taking extra money from the cattle traders. “In connivance with the DNCC chief executive officer and chief estate officer, he charges Tk 200-5000 per head instead of government-fixed Tk 50,” he said.
The BMTA secretary general also alleged that hundreds of crore of taka are being smuggled to India through Hundi by a syndicate, led by Kala Moijya. “We’ve to give Tk 6000-7000 as commission for each of cattle to the syndicate members,” he said, adding that the government is losing revenue from it.
Besides, meat traders do not get fair prices for their rawhide for not shifting tannery industries from Hazaribagh, he added.