ISLAMABAD: Prices of sacrificial animals in the Capital have gone up by 25-30 percent while the number of people who are considering not sacrificing on Eid-ul-Azha this year in comparison to last year has declined by 30-35 percent due to sky-rocketing prices of animals in the cattle markets.
A survey conducted by this scribe reveals that high inflation of food and non-food items accounts for many abandoning the idea of sacrificing animals on Eid-ul-Azha on October 27.
The survey found that many people are opting to purchase shares in buffaloes or cows rather than purchasing goats as it is comparatively cheaper.
There is considerable difference in the price of sacrificial animals in different cities across the country. The average price of a goat in Islamabad is Rs. 20000-25000 while that of sheep is from Rs. 16000-22000. The price of cows/buffaloes ranges from Rs. 65,000 to Rs. 95000 in the Federal Capital.
A comparison between the price of sacrificial animals in Islamabad with other cities of the country like Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, and Jhelum show that the prices of sacrificial animals in the Federal Capital are higher than in other cities of Pakistan.
In Karachi, the average selling price range of goat/sheep is between Rs. 14000-17000, the price of cows/buffaloes is in the range of Rs. 45000-60000. In Faisalabad, a goat is being sold at Rs. 14000-16000 and cows/buffaloes from Rs. 45000-55000; in Lahore goat prices range from Rs 15000-19000 and prices of buffaloes/cows from Rs. 50000-75000, and in Jhelum goats are being sold in the price range of Rs. 15000-20000 and cows/buffaloes from Rs. 45000-55000.
Many who managed to sacrifice last year, are unable to perform this obligation due to the unexpectedly high prices of sacrificial animals especially goats and sheep.
During the survey, Mian Bukhsh, a visitor to Bakra Mandi in I-11 told this scribe, “The sky-rocketing prices of sacrificial animals are forcing the citizens to opt for “Ijtamai Qurbani”. He added, “I slaughtered a goat last year after purchasing it at Rs. 12000 for Eid-ul-Azha but this year I will go for a share in a cow at Rs. 8000 that I can afford”.
A goat seller in the Bakra Mandi of Saidpur Village told Business Recorder that there is no shortage of sacrificial animals in the local markets but the main reason behind the increase in prices is inflation, high transportation cost, recent floods and smuggling of animals to Afghanistan.
Khadim Ali Khan, a visitor to the Bakra Mandi said, “The day by day rise in price of food and non-food items is the reason why I have not been able to save enough to buy a goat. And if you add the rising prices of sacrificial animals then people like me can simply not afford to make the sacrifice this year.