Cow cess for epidemics: Cattle welfare panel threatens stir – Times of India

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JAIPUR: The cash-strapped state government through a recent amendment to the Rajasthan Stamp (Amendment) Act 2020 has legalised the surcharge imposed on stamp duty for cow protection be used for purposes of mitigating natural or man-made calamities like drought, flood, epidemic and public health exigencies much to the ire of gaushala owners.
The state government promulgated the Rajasthan Stamp (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 to amend the Rajasthan Stamp Act, 1998. While Section 3B of the Act had the phrase “surcharge for conservation and propagation of cow and its progeny,” it has now been amended to include “and for mitigating natural or man-made calamities”.
This meant that the surcharge could now be used to contain drought, flood, epidemic and public health exigencies, along with catering to cow welfare.
Rajasthan is the first in the country to have a separate gopalan department by the previous BJP government. The government had imposed 10% surcharge on registration of property to find money for the department. Later, a 20 per cent cess was imposed on liquor for cow protection.
Dinesh Giri, head of the Rajasthan Gau Sewa Samiti, an organsiation of gaushalas, has now threatened an agitation. “We will launch an agitation in all assembly constituencies on September 21 followed by a memorandum will be given to the chief minister,” Giri said.
The state had 2,727 registered gaushalas in the state with about 9.5 lakh cows. The government provides financial assistance of Rs 20 per day for calves less than three years old and Rs 40 per day to grown cows in gaushalas.
But Giri said, “this grant is given only to goshalas which have more than 200 cows and have a registration of more than two years. Thus about 35% of the gaushalas are not reeving the funds.”
“The state government had announced a nandi shala in every gram panchayats to find a solution to stray cattle menace. But it is nowhere in sight. Where will the government find money for nandi shalas,” he asked.
He said the government had many avenues to generate funds to deal with natural calamities but if the money for cow is diverted, the bovine animals will die of starvation.

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