Prices of sacrificial animals shoot up
JALALABAD (PAN): Livestock merchants in eastern Nangarhar province say prices of sacrificial animals have shot up as a result of bribes paid to customs officials and border police. However, officials reject the allegation.
With the Eid-ul-Adha drawing closer, the trade in animals has sharply increased. Muslims slaughter animals to commemorate Hazrat Ibrahim’s decision to sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismail for Allah’s pleasure.
The price of an ox, which was 25,000 afghanis last year, has jumped to more than 40,000 afs this time around, said Surkhrod resident Abdul Aziz, who came to the Hadda Farm market in Jalalabad to buy an animal. “Prices are sky-high; even a small goat costs more than 15,000 afs.”
Another buyer, Ahmad Nabi, noted a 10 percent increased in prices of animals. Last year, one lamb accounted for 12,000 afs, compared to this year’s rate of 16,000 afs, he added.
Livestock trader Mohammad Nasir said they imported animals from neighbouring Pakistan. Police and other officials seek bribes from them at every checkpoint, he alleged. As a result, they are selling the animals at higher prices.
“We smuggle animals from Pakistan, but pay Rs17, 000 (8,300 afs) on transporting them to Afghanistan.”
A market official, Samiullah, denied the authorities sought illegal gratification from traders. The government had increased tax on livestock, prompting the price hike, he explained. “A kilogram of meat, which was previously priced at 120 afs, is now sold for 210afs.”
Director of Customs Ihsanullah Kamawal also trashed the allegation, saying they realised taxes on livestock imports from Pakistan.
A spokesman for border police, Idrees Momand, said they seized smuggled animals and handed them over to the customs department. “Border policemen never take backhander from traders. If someone has proof, they should share it with us,” he remarked.
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