LUCKNOW: Giving a further push to cow protection in state, CM Yogi Adityanath has asked the Agriculture Mandis to increase the cess from 2% to 3% towards the construction of cow shelters in the state following a rise in their income during the last year.
While chairing the 157th meeting of Governing Council of the State Agricultural Produce Markets Board (Mandi Parishad) at his office on Thursday, the CM said that the cess money should go to only those institutions which run the cow shelters with dedication. Some amount of this money should also be imparted to the Animal Husbandry Department, directed the CM.
Meanwhile, the CM also cautioned the officers concerned against the ongoing tension in the Gulf countries and keep a tight vigil on suspects who could indulge in black marketing, storage and smuggling of essential things under its guise. This could lead to an increase in the prices by creating artificial shortages of commodities."Keep a close eye on them and take strict action if necessary. Also, keep a special watch on the prices of pulses, oil and vegetables", said the CM.
Notably, early last year, the Uttar Pradesh government had cleared a policy paving the way for implementation of a cow welfare cess on different departments including excise items (0.5%), Toll Tax collected by various departments (0.5%), Mandi Parishad (2%), to fund construction and maintenance of cow shelters across the state.
Moreover, the cess of 0.5 per cent levied on toll tax pertained to the money collected by government agencies, and on profits made by public sector enterprises and construction agencies like UP State Construction and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited, UP State Bridge Corporation Ltd, UPSIDC etc for the purpose.
The decision had helped the state government earn additional Rs 34 crore as cow welfare cess. Moreover, a provision was also made for temporary cow shelters by using MP, MLA and MNREGA funds.
The local bodies were expected to arrange funds as much as possible from their budget for nutrition and management of protected cows. The CM had also allocated Rs 100 crore to local bodies for the purpose.