Madhya Pradesh will get a ‘gau cabinet’, announces CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Madhya Pradesh will establish a “gau cabinet” for the protection and promotion of livestock in the state and its first meeting will be held later this week, Prime Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Wednesday.
“The decision has been made to create a ‘cabinet gau’ for the protection and promotion of livestock in the state. The departments of animal husbandry, forests, panchayat and rural development, income, household and well-being of farmers will be included in the cow cabinet, ”Chouhan said in a Hindi tweet. “The first meeting will be held on November 22 at 12 noon in Gopashtami at the cow sanctuary in Agar Malwa,” he added.
The Prime Minister spoke about India’s first cow sanctuary, created by the Madhya Pradesh government, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in September 2017. Kamdhenu Gau Abhyaranya in Agar Malwa, 190 km northwest of Bhopal , was developed by MP Gau Samvardhan Board spending around Rs 32 crore. The sanctuary, which spans 472 hectares, was later privatized due to financial crises.
Earlier this year, Madhya Pradesh had allocated Rs 11 crore or Rs 1.6 per day to feed more than 180,000 cows in government-run shelters in the state. It had slashed the animal husbandry department’s allocation to Rs 11 crore from Rs 132 crore in the previous financial year, a cut of 90%, budget records show, in the budget for the 2020-21 financial year.
Read also | Privatization of India’s first cow sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh
“A steep cut of Rs 20 per day, per cow, given earlier. Not only this, the first such scheme to invite people to donate for the protection of cows has led to a collection of only Rs 22,000 so far and has proven to be a failure, ”said a Madhya Pradesh government official, that he asked not to be named, he had said in August.
The previously quoted official had said that after the plan’s failure and budget cut, the animal husbandry department, which has been given a goal of building 7,000 new cow shelters, has been left in a lurch.
“The department’s one-month budget requirement for the protection of cows, which includes the operation of the shelters, the acquisition of feed for the cows, the maintenance of the biogas plants and vermicompost and other expenses, amounts to 11, 5 million rupees, but this year the government allocated the total budget of 11.80 crore rupees. With this budget, even if we stopped all other work except the supply of feed for cows, we have only Rs 600 per year to feed a cow in the shelters, which house 1.80 lakh of cows, ”said another officer who also did not want be identified.
“In the absence of the budget, we are taking the help of NGOs and gram panchayats to run more than 1,300 cow shelters in Madhya Pradesh. The department is facing a budget shortage and we have requested an additional budget of Rs 129 crore from the state government and we hope it will get it, ”said RK Rokde, director of the department of animal husbandry.