Red meat merchants in the capital suspended their strike on Saturday evening after six days over their grievances.
The strike had been called on February 13 to demand proper and transparent trading practices in cattle trade.
The strike suspension will continue till 5pm Sunday.
Dhaka Metropolitan Meat Merchants Association and Bangladesh Meat Merchant Association will hold a joint press conference at 5pm after their separate meetings with the Ministry of Commerce and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), said the associations leaders.
“We will sit with the Ministry of Commerce at 11am another meeting to be hold with the DNCC authority at 2pm. If the meetings would be fruitful, no need to announce next activity of the movement,” said Rabiul Islam, secretary general of Dhaka Metropolitan Meat Merchants Association.
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“If the meeting does not offer us any hope, we will announce our next activity at the press conference,” he added.
Earlier on Friday, the red meat traders promised that they will sell meat at Tk300 per kg if the government eases complications over importing Indian cattle and stops extortion, unsanctioned taxes at cattle markets, especially Gabtoli.
On Wednesday, leaders of DMMMA and Dhaka Metropolitan North-South Mutton Traders Association in a media briefing claimed they had been forced to raise the price of red meat citing the same allegations.
They also accused the leaseholders at Gabtoli of employing thugs to threaten them if they refused to pay.
According to Rabiul, about Tk20,000-Tk30,000 has to be paid as extortion for each cow to be brought from the borders to Dhaka, in addition to the excessive payments to the leaseholders.
DNCC Chief Estate Officer Aminul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune that the city corporation will take appropriate actions in this regard.
When contacted, DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon declined to make a comment on the suspended strike. At a press conference on Wednesday, he said DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq is handling the matter since the Gabtoli market is under his jurisdiction.
Also Read- Traders: Red meat to sell at Tk300 per kg, if demands fulfilled
While visiting Karwan Bazar on Friday morning, the capital’s biggest kitchen market, this reporter found chickens were on sale in abundance with only a few butcher’s shops selling red meat.
In the wake of the situation, local butchers were charging Tk500-600 and Tk700-800 for each kg of beef and mutton respectively. The crisis also pushed up the prices of poultry birds by Tk20-30 per kg.
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