5% GST on raw hide: Ludhiana skinners threaten to dump dead cattle outside govt offices
Opposing the Centre’s decision of 5% GST on raw hide, the skinners on Wednesday threatened to intensify the strike by dumping bodies of dead cattle outside the government offices if the tax is not revoked by Saturday.
Jalandhar former mayor Surinder Mahey, who is also a member of the Punjab Hide And Skin Merchants’ Association, said, “We have unanimously decided that if the central government does not roll back the tax till Saturday, the skinners will dump dead animals outside the government offices to mark their protests across the state.”
“We can’t pay any GST. We want the government to pay attention towards us. The government must revoke its decision of levying tax on raw hide. If our demand is not met, we will start dumping dead animals outside the offices and on roads,” said a city-based skinner Parshotam Lal, who claims his family has been involved in skinning of dead animals for over last 100 years.
On Tuesday, the staff of Shri Govind Gau Dham, one of the major gaushalas of the state, had also expressed displeasure against 5% GST on raw hide, asking the government to roll back its decision.
Situation worsens in rural areas
As the skinners have been on a strike for the last six days, the municipal corporation has been lifting dead animals, including dairy complexes, from city areas.
However, the situation in and around cow shelters in rural areas has worsened due to non-lifting of dead animals.
Municipal corporation Ludhiana is already running a drive to bury the dead cattle in city areas. However, officials say they are getting requests from Sahnewal, Mullanpur and other areas to bury dead animals lying in open.
Municipal Corporation veterinary officer Dr YP Singh said, “We have lifted 40 more cattle from various places and buried them. We are also getting calls from areas outside the city, but we can’t visit all sites outside the MC limits. We lifted 8-10 dead cows from Shri Govind Gau Dham, located outside the MC’s jurisdiction.”
“We have requested the gaushalas authorities to bury the dead cattle buried on their own by following required procedure,” he added.