The government of Kerala has notified poultry traders to commence selling chicken at a price of Rs. 87/kg or prepare for consequences. This warning came from state finance minister Dr TM Thomas Isaac as a result of the new Goods and Services tax reform applicable on Indian markets from July 1, which put the chicken in the slab of tax-exempted goods. The government had to intervene when the price of poultry sky-rocketed after the GST rolled out.
Kerala was the only state in which the tax levied on the chicken was 14.5%, priced at Rs. 103 as the GST was implemented. Dr Isaac pegs the current price of chicken at Rs. 87 – something the traders strongly disagree with.
The suppliers informed the government for them to sell their product at such low prices, and maintain that the government took a one-sided decision in their pricing policy. The state secretary of the farmers and traders association Abdul-Jabbar rationalises, “We get chicken from the farm for Rs 115, we sell it to retailers for Rs 125 and they sell for Rs 142”.
The water supply from Tamil Nadu has also been sparse recently, which directly impacts the production of chicken, as one chicken requires one litre of water per day.
With the oncoming monsoon, the production of chicken will probably go back to normal. The government is set to meet the traders association soon, to discuss the final numbers, and will hopefully resolve the matter.
By: Tarun Rao