The Punjab Local Bodies department Tuesday refuted media reports which said that the government has proposed to levy tax on pet animals in the state. A statement issued by the department headed by Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said there was no such proposal and the draft being circulated on media was actually a draft of Punjab Municipal Corporation and Municipal (Registration, Control of Stray Animal and Compensation to the Victim of Animal Attack) bylaws, 2017, which was in accordance to the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The High Court had issued directions to Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, after a civil writ petition by Ram Kumar, directing the states and UT to make a policy for compensating victims of stray and pet bites.
The government statement clarified the matter saying that there was no such direction and the draft was about preparing a policy on compensation to animal bite victims. Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal also told the Indian Express that the state government did not intend to levy any such tax.