The Uttar Pradesh government Tuesday approved setting up a corpus for funding the management and running of shelter homes for stray cattle and forming urgently required infrastructure in the state.
A meeting of the state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, cleared the Uttar Pradesh Cow Conservation and Development Fund rules, 2019, to run and manage the 'govansh ashray sthals' at the district-level.
It was the first cabinet meeting after the Lok Sabha election. An official release said the corpus will also help in implementation of different developmental schemes relating to cow conservation.
The matter was earlier brought before the state cabinet in January and it was decided that a state-level fund will be set up. The cabinet on Tuesday approved setting up of the corpus fund for its management.
The corpus will be raised through donations, state and central governments, government institutions, individuals or industrial houses, NGOs and charitable institutions, besides 2 per cent from 'mandi' cess, 0.5 per cent of the annual excise revenue and 0.5 per cent of the annual toll tax.
Though stray cattle problem might not have been a major issue during the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh, it could snowball into a key issue during the 2022 UP Assembly polls if it is not resolved in time, political analysts say.
They pointed out that former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav recently targeted the UP government when a stray bull entered his rally venue.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister had retorted saying his government is committed to protecting cows and that they understand who "friends of butchers" are, a likely reference to the minority community, but the chief minister had also promised to completely resolve the issue after the general elections.
The Adityanath government had made arrangements for cow shelters in this year's budget and also instructed each district administration and municipal corporations to make arrangements for cow shelter to resolve the issue of stray cattle.
The government had taken steps such as introduction of sex-specific semen and construction of cattle shelter, but there is a realisation that a lot is needed to be done in this direction.