The government of Madhya Pradesh is considering imposing a surcharge on products such as alcohol and services provided by local agencies to generate ??100 crore to cover the expenses of running cow shelters in the state, a senior finance ministry official said on Friday after a meeting of Gau Samvardhan’s board of directors with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan the day before.
The official said a decision in this regard was taken at a Gau Samvardhan board meeting on Thursday in Bhopal after efforts to secure donations met with a lukewarm response from the population and that the income for cow protection of Mandi’s board of directors has declined due to the implementation of new agricultural laws. in 2020.
Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday that all three agricultural laws will be repealed, state government officials have not clarified whether the sale and purchase of agricultural products in designated markets will resume.
“The council (Gau Samvardhan) needs ??160 crore to feed 2.6 lakh cows living in 1,300 cow shelters. But the planned budget is ??60 crores. Thus, each day of expenditure per cow required is ??20 against provided ??6 per day. At the meeting, which was chaired by Chouhan, the discussion focused on the generation of funds only, ”said a senior official from the livestock department, who declined to be named.
According to JN Kansotiya, additional chief secretary of the livestock department, the CM ordered officers to impose a welfare surcharge on products and services in order to generate income for cow welfare and the program. protection in order to solve the problem of financial crises. He added that the finance and business tax department had been asked to prepare a proposal.
A senior finance ministry official, unwilling to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said: “We cannot impose any additional taxes on goods and services that are already covered by the GST. We have two options left – impose a surtax on alcohol used for human consumption and petroleum products. As fuel prices are already high, our focus is on imposing a tax on alcohol, electricity and services provided by municipal agencies.
The plan will be finalized soon and it will be approved by the Gau (cow) cabinet which was formed last year to decide on the welfare and protection of cows, the officer said.
State Finance Minister Jagdish Devda said: “The state government is planning to impose an additional obligation for the welfare and protection of cows. But at the same time, we don’t want to place an additional burden on ordinary people, so the decision will soon be finalized by the cabinet. ”
Previously, then-chief minister Kamal Nath had also proposed to impose cow cessation in October 2019, but after his resignation in March 2020, the proposal took a back seat.
The opposition Congress attacked the state government for spending money on events and placing an additional burden on the population by imposing a tax to conduct social activities.
“The BJP-led state government is spending millions of rupees to organize events like it recently did at Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas, but it has no money to feed the cows. The state government wants to run all social assistance schemes by imposing tax on ordinary people. Even the money collected through the tax will be spent to organize events for the protection of the cows and not for the welfare of the cows, ”said JP Dhanopia, spokesperson for the Congress of Deputies committee.