Chicken likely to go off menus in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram: Chicken dishes are likely to go off the menu in Kerala at least for now with ‘boycotts’ announced by Kerala Hotel and Restaurants Association and All-Kerala Poultry Federation against high prices quoted by merchants and ‘huge’ sales tax imposed by government.
The Hotel Association first threatened to stop selling chicken dishes from tomorrow in view of the exorbitant prices being collected by chicken merchants. Chicken is now sold in Kerala at more than Rs 125 per kg, Association State President G Sudheesh Kumar said in a statement.
Close on the heels of the association’s announcement, the Poultry Federation said they would also stop retail and bulk purchases unless government withdrew the 13.5 per cent sales tax on chicken.
Federation state secretary S K Nazeer said Kerala imports eight lakh kg of chicken daily. “Now the tax is around Rs 30 per bird and the benefits do not reach poultry farmers,” he said.
KHRA president Sudheesh said a final decision on the proposed ‘chicken ban’ would be taken at an executive meeting of the association later this evening at Kochi.
The All Kerala Chicken Merchants and Commission Agencies Association have also decided to go an indefinite stir from today, protesting against the ‘huge’ sales tax on the poultry.
Meanwhile, some hotel owners in Kozhikode said chicken dishes would not be avoided in their hotels in view of the price hike. Hotels would also have to increase prices, the Owners Association president N B Krishna Kurup said.

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