AAP scrap auction of cattle fairs to pvt contractors

AAP scrap auction of cattle fairs to pvt contractors

PTI file photo

The Punjab unit of the Aam Aadmi Party today demanded scrapping the system of auctioning of cattle fairs to private contractors in the state.

Kharar MLA and spokesperson for the state party legislative wing, Kanwar Sandhu, alleged that the government had, for many years, resorted to "open loot of dairy farmers through private contractors".

"While farm income is exempt from tax, why are farmers rearing cattle heads being forced to pay heavy sums to the government for every sale and purchase of animals," he asked.

The next auction for the coming year is due on July 10 as the previous contract expired on June 30, he said.

This year, the reserve price for the auction of all the cattle fairs in the state is Rs 72 crore, Sandhu said.

Last year, the auction bid had touched a whopping Rs 105 crore.

"This is an open loot of the farmers," Sandhu alleged.

In Punjab, a total of 900 cattle fairs are organised in a year (about 75 every month) spread across 19 districts.

Sandhu said that while farmers in Punjab were being forced to pay on an average Rs 2,000 per animal sold or purchased, in Haryana, a farmer pays only Rs 60 per animal.

In Haryana, the cattle fairs are organised by its own department.

He said that in Punjab too, the same practice was adopted when the Punjab Cattle Fair (Regulation) Act, 1967 was passed.

However, the practice was changed to auctioning of cattle fairs a few years ago, much to the disadvantage of the small farmers and cattle breeders, he said.

Sandhu also demanded that the money collected in the cattle fairs should be spent only on promoting dairy farming and improving veterinary hospitals in the state. 

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