Punjab govt denies announcing tax for keeping pets in urban areas, trashes media reports
The Punjab government trashed media reports suggesting that a new tax would be imposed on people in urban areas for keeping pets, cattle or other animals.
Chandigarh: The Punjab government trashed media reports suggesting that a new tax would be imposed on people in urban areas for keeping pets, cattle or other animals.
A spokesperson of the Navjot Singh Sidhu led local government department said that the state government is framing 'Punjab Municipal Corporation and Municipal (Registration Control of Stray Animals and Compensation to the Victim of Animal Attack) bye-laws, 2017 as per court orders.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had on a civil writ petition recently asked Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh to chalk out a policy for putting to a stop the occurrences of people being bitten by stray dogs or other animals and awarding compensation to the family of deceased persons, he said.
"Under the proposal, no new tax is intended to be imposed. Instead, the purported letters circulated in media has been released for framing a policy/proposal regarding giving compensation in case of death caused due to stray dog/animal biting," he said.
Earlier a purported government letter was circulated according to which people living in urban areas were expected to pay different tax rates ranging between Rs 250 to Rs 500 per year for owning a dog, cat, pig, sheep, deer, buffalo, bull, camel, horse or cow.
The reports had prompted the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to attack cabinet minister Sidhu.
Former minister and SAD general secretary Bikram Singh Majithia said it required someone with "special ability" like Sidhu to come up with a "special" tax which seeks to not only charge a registration fee but also an annual renewal charge for keeping pet as well as milch animal in the municipal limits of towns and cities in the state.
Clarifying the position, an official spokesman said that the local government department has not imposed any such tax.
This development comes as several legislators and ministers close to Navjot Singh Sidhu have been seeking a meeting of the legislature party
The reaction comes after it was revealed that over 50 MLAs had written to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, demanding that he be replaced
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The party also refused to comment on whether Singh would leave the party after his "unceremonious" exit as the chief minister of Punjab, and said "if someone wants to leave, we have no comment to offer".