Poultry farmers in Punjab lament J and K Govt's high import duties

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Bale Chak Village (Tarn Taran) (Punjab), (ANI): Poultry farming in Punjab, which suffered heavy losses and closures during terrorism days and recently following the Bird flu scare, is now faced with another problem in the form of heavy tax duties.

The Jammu and Kashmir state has imposed heavy tax duties on the import of the poultry birds from other states, as it has increased Tax on Poultry birds from Rs. 2 per bird to Rs. 7.50 per Bird. It was 60 paisa per bird in 2006.

However, the poultry farmers in the border area of Punjab say that this high rate of tax will ruin the poultry farming in Punjab, as it does not even cover the cost of production.

Nearly 90 percent of the poultry farmers of the Border belt of the Punjab are dependent on the supply to J and K, as there is huge demand of poultry products throughout the year in the state.

G. S. Bedi, President, Amritsar Poultry Industry Association, said that this high rate of tax levied by the J and K Government would directly hit the poultry industry of Punjab.

"We have made a request to the Jammu and Kashmir government to lower the tax rates. Such heavy taxes are imposed on the inter- nation export and not on the exports between the neighbouring states. If they want to improve the condition of the poultry farmers in Jammu and Kashmir, they should take steps on the technical front and not levy taxes on poultry farmers like us and ruin our business, "said G S Bedi, President of Amritsar Poultry Industry Association

Bedi informed that poultry traders in Punjab supply over half a million eggs and 40,000 to 50,000 chickens per day to meet the demand within the J and K state that cost nearly 50 million rupees per day.

He said that J and K government by providing technical help would improve the condition of poultry farmers of their State but this type of step shall increase unhealthy competition among own states that are dependent on each other.

Sumit Chawla, a leading Poultry farmer of the border area, said that all most 30 percent farmers have already closed the Poultry farms due to high cost of feed ingredients, chicks and labor, thus giving a rise to rural unemployment that is too when economic recession is prevailing.

"The government has imposed tax on the outset of the season. The tax imposed is very high and will affect the farming as most of our production is supplied to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It will affect the poultry business in Punjab and unemployment will creep in. The Government should think over it before taking any action which will affect the poultry farmers, "said Sumit Chawla.

"This tax will further increase the closure of poultry farms in Punjab," said Chawla.

The farmers have urged the State government to take appropriate steps through Central government to prevent J and K government from imposing high taxes on the import of the poultry products from others states, failing which it would spell a doom for poultry farmers here. By Ravinder Singh Robin(ANI)

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