On First Day of Lifting Subsidies: Meat Market Without Meat

2015-10-02 - 9:40 p

Bahrain Mirror: The central meat market in the Bahraini capital, Manama, looked like a ghost town on Thursday (October 1, 2015) after the decision to lift subsidies on meat came into effect. The shops were empty; only some Asian nationals who work in the shops were there.

Most of the butcheries did not buy meat at the price set by Bahrain Livestock Company (3.5 BD for 1 Kg of meat) within the framework of modifying prices as part of the government's austerity policy to face the budget deficit.

About 95% of butcheries and butchers at the central meat market refused to buy meat and sell it to customers who, for their part, did not show up in the market.

This was the case with the restaurants too, as many restaurant owners stressed that they refused to buy meat from the livestock company at the new price.

Many broadcasts were circulated in the names of restaurants announcing that they joined the meat boycott campaign until a solution is reached.

The situation is still spontaneous to the moment; however, it may develop into a strike. The results of a meeting that the butchers decided to hold regarding a collective decision to launch a strike or continue work regularly are still unclear.

A restaurant owner in the Al-Budai Street told Bahrain Mirror that "there is an inclination now towards establishing a union among restaurants to import the quantities of meat needed and even chicken."

"We started discussing the possibility to buy meat from abroad," he stated, adding: "We can't continue to buy meat from the Bahrain Livestock Company in the light of the modest purchase power that we target and that makes up the majority of our customers."

"We have become exposed to merchant greediness, for the merchants raised the prices of the imported chicken that are not even affected by the decision of lifting subsidies."

In the same context, a member of one of the obsequies' administration in Al-Sanabis area said that "a movement is being organized with some clerics to boycott meat during the Month of Muharram," adding that "this move is aimed at saving money in Muharram so that these sums of money are transferred to charity."

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