New Delhi, Apr 3: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on April 1 asked BSF jawans deployed along the Indo-Bangla border to put a complete halt to smuggling of cattle to Bangladesh so that people there give up eating beef. But this move will pose an extra burden of more than Rs 31,000 crore on the public exchequer, which is approximately 4 times country's budget for child nutrition plan.
"I am told prices of beef in Bangladesh have gone up by 30 per cent recently due to heightened vigil by BSF against cattle smuggling.
"You further intensify your vigil so that the cattle smuggling stops completely and prices of beef in Bangladesh escalates 70 to 80 per cent more so that people of Bangladesh give up eating beef," the Home Minister said addressing jawans of BSF at a Border Out Post.
According to official statistics, around 17 lakh cattle were smuggled to Bangladesh from India in 2014. While per a report published in the TOI says, around 25 lakh cattle, including cows and buffaloes, are smuggled from India to Bangladesh every year.
With the 25 lakh cattles approaching borders annually, if the BSF manages to stop the smuggling of these cattle from India to Bangladesh then the total number of dry cattle in the country would touch approximately 1.25 crore. Feeding and upkeep of these 1.25 crore cattle would translate to an additional expenditure of Rs 31,000 crore annually.
Now here are the figures:
As per industry sources, Price a dry cow/buffalo fetches for Indian cowherd is Rs 1,500. Hence, government will have to spend Rs 25,000 on one cow/buffalo for 1 year.
That means government will have to spent around Rs 31,250 crore annually on cost of maintaining cowsheds, salaries of cowherds and feeding of cattle.
Not to forget that these dry cattle will not fetch revenue in terms of milk. Even in India several rearers either sell or disown their cows, buffaloes once they become dry i.e. stop producing milk. Hence, feeding them will be no less than a liability for the government.
Also, the Home Minister's idea of starving Bangladesh to beef so that they stop eating it couldn't be supported because most of the beef produced in the neighbouring country is exported to Gulf countries.
Hence, starving a friendly neighbour of beef and also hampering its foreign exchange will further affect the bilateral relations between the two countries.