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Punjab's Farmers Oppose J&K's New Import Duty

by 5m Editor
8 September 2009, at 7:59am

PUNJAB, INDIA - Poultry farmers in Punjab are unhappy about the government of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) imposing 'import duties' on their products.

Andhra News reports that poultry farmers 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.

As previously reported on ThePoultrySite, J&K 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 two rupees (INR) per bird to INR 7.50. It was INR 0.60 per bird in 2006.

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

Nearly 90 per cent of the poultry farmers of the Border belt of the Punjab are dependent on the supply to J&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&K government would directly hit the poultry industry of Punjab.

He said: "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."

Mr Bedi said 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&K state that cost nearly 50 million rupees per day.

He said that J&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 almost 30 per cent farmers have already closed their farms due to the high costs of feed ingredients, chicks and labour, adding to rural unemployment during the economic recession.

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

Andhra News adds that the farmers have urged the state government to take appropriate steps through central government to prevent the J&K government from imposing high taxes on the import of the poultry products from others states.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.