Rajasthan finance department revealed that the state had received Rs 1,242.56 crore from the cow protection surcharge levied on stamp duty between 2015 and January 2021.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress may not see eye to eye in public on the issue, but data from Rajasthan shows the government shelling out over 66 per cent of the fund that it collected from cow protection surcharge on cow shelters. In the last five years, cow shelters in Rajasthan have received the assistance of over Rs 1,500 crore from the state government. Notably, the Rajasthan government collected a cow protection surcharge from the stamp duty and the sale of liquor in the state. The government data reveals that cow shelters in the state had received Rs 1,511.31 crore from the state government in the past five years.
Replying to a question in the state assembly, the finance department revealed that the state had received Rs 1,242.56 crore from the cow protection surcharge levied on stamp duty between 2015 and January 2021. It had collected revenue worth Rs 1017.8 crore from a surcharge on the sale of liquor between 2018-19 and January 2020-21.
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Therefore, in total, it earned Rs 2,259.64 crore since 2015-16 from the cow protection surcharge on stamp duty and liquor sale which was levied by the previous BJP government for propagation and protection of cow and its progeny. While the government changed in December 2018, the surcharge continues on the sale of stamp duty and liquor.
While the BJP has levied a surcharge for cow protection, the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government had brought The Rajasthan Stamp (Amendment) Bill, 2020 in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which also purposes to use the surcharge on stamp duty to mitigate calamities like an epidemic, drought, flood, public health exigencies, fire, etc.
In states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, cattle smuggling and cow protection are seen as one of the key poll planks by the political parties.