The Punjab local bodies department has fixed Rs 30 per day per cow for fodder and the amount would be given to “gaushalas” (cow sheds).
The department would raise the amount by levying cess on the purchase of vehicles and consumption of power. There are over 1 lakh stray cows in state and every day the department would pass on Rs 30 lakh collected from the cess to cow shelters to buy fodder. The total cost of feeding these cows is expected to cross Rs 100 crore annually.
The local bodies department has already asked all civic bodies in state to pass a resolution and contribute to feed the cows. Seven municipal corporations (out of 10), 33 municipal councils and notified area committees (out of 154) have already passed the resolution and had sent it to the department for approval.
The Bathinda municipal corporation (MC) took the lead in passing the resolution in 2009, followed by the SAS Nagar MC which passed the resolution three months ago.
“Cow cess will be levied on various items in the state and the amount collected will be spent on cattle and their welfare,” local bodies minister Anil Joshi told HT.
Joshi said the two-month-long procedure involves passing of a resolution by a civic body, clearance by the department and inviting objections from residents. After the residents’ concerns are addressed, it is sent for notification by the department, he added.
Though the government approved the proposal to levy cow cess throughout the state in 2014, it could not be implemented. Other than stay cattle, there are 2.7 lakh cows reared in the state and are in protected environment.
Cess to be levied on
As per the proposal of the local bodies department, cow cess would levied at the rate of Rs 1,000 on the purchase of a four-wheeler, Rs 500 on purchase of two-wheeler, Rs 100 on every oil tanker unloading at a filling station within the municipal limit, 2 paisa per unit of electricity consumption, Rs 1,000 on booking of air-conditioned marriage hall, Rs 500 on booking of non-air-conditioned hall, Rs 1 on sale of a cement bag, Rs 10 per bottle of Indian made foreign liquor and Rs 5 per bottle on country made liquor. The local bodies department hopes to collect Rs 90-100 crore per annum from the cess.