Demanding to scrap the auctioning of cattle fairs in the state to private contractors, the AAP has suggested that these be organised by the department of panchayats and rural development instead, as in Haryana. Addressing a press conference Friday, Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu said the government had for many years resorted to “open loot” of dairy farmers through private contractors.
“While farm income is exempted from tax, why are the farmers rearing cattle being forced to pay heavy amounts to the government for every sale and purchase of animals,” he asked.
Sandhu said while the farmers were being forced to pay an average of Rs 2,000 per animal sold or purchased, in Haryana, they pay only Rs 60. He said in Punjab too, the same practice was adopted when the Punjab Cattle Fair (Regulation) Act, 1967, was passed. However, it was changed to auctioning of cattle fairs a few years ago, to the disadvantage of the small farmers and cattle breeders, he said.
The next auction in Punjab is due on July 10, after three postponements in the last few days due to varying pressures.
In Punjab, a total of 900 cattle fairs are organised across 19 districts in a year (about 75 every month). In certain places like Dao Majra near Kharar in Mohali district, four cattle fairs are held every month.