Madhya Pradesh government on Friday said that it is planning to introduce ‘cow cess’ to raise funds for the cow conservation in the state.

“For the development and conservation of cows in the state, we are planning to impose a cow cess in the state,” CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said during a review meeting on Friday ahead of Gau cabinet’s first meeting scheduled at Salariya in Agar Malwa on Sunday.

Reaffirming its commitment to cow conservation, the state government has formed a cow cabinet few days ago. Earlier, the BJP government had announced the formation of a cow ministry in the state ahead of 2018 assembly polls in the state.

“As part of our plan, rearing of cows and milk and other by-products will be promoted,” Chouhan said in the review meeting. The state government has also planned promoting desi breed of cows.

Besides, products like Gau kastha (wooden sticks made of cowdung) will be promoted as an alternate to wood.

In addition to the five ministers who are part of the gau cabinet, the first meeting of the cabinet will be accompanied by a symposium to be attended by 14 cow experts who will be forwarding their suggestions to the state government.

According to the MP government figures, 627 cowsheds are being run in the state presently which house 1.66 cows. Besides, there are 8.5 lakh stray cows in the state whose upkeep is our collective responsibility, said CM Chouhan.

“Those who slashed cow fodder budget, planned golf course on land meant for cows and retracted after announcing cow ministry, are now talking about cow protection and development,” MPCC chief Kamal Nath’s media co-ordinator Narendra Saluja said.

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