The six-day strike announced by the meat traders of Dhaka will end on Saturday.
Robiul Alam, secretary general of Bangladesh Meat Merchant Association (BMMA), announced the postponement of the strike Saturday afternoon.
Minister of Commerce and Dhaka City Corporation have agreed to sit for a meeting regarding the demands of the traders.
He, however, said they will decide the next course of action tomorrow following a meeting with the representatives of commerce ministry and Dhaka North City Corporation to discuss their demands.
Earlier, meat traders of Dhaka announced a six-day strike from Monday as a protest against the irregularities like extortion and unsanctioned taxes in the cattle markets.
The strike was announced on Sunday in front of the Jatiya Press Club after the traders formed a human chain.
“If our demand is not met within a week, we will go for an indefinite strike. We will stop selling beef and mutton throughout the city,” Robiul Alam, secretary general of Bangladesh Meat Merchants’ Association said earlier on Friday.
The meat sellers alleged the Dhaka North City Corporation was not properly maintaining Gabtoli cattle market – the major hub of cattle sales in Dhaka.
They further alleged the leaseholders were extorting cattle merchants and had even hired enforcers to threaten people if they refuse to pay.
Robiul Islam also alleged that they have to pay between Tk20,000-Tk30,000 as extortion money to bring each cow from the borders to Dhaka, and further excessive revenue to leaseholders of the cattle markets.
Anwar Hossain Belu, senior vice president of Bangladesh Restaurant Owners Association, said beef prices remained stable for the last one month. “The sudden strike will create a crisis in the market and lead to a hike in prices.”
This is the peak season for weddings and picnics, and the strike would hurt both consumers and businesses, he said.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, retail prices of beef were Tk 430-450 a kg in the last one week and those of mutton were Tk 580-650 a kg.