BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to abolish subsidies for meat exporters as a “first step” towards ban on cow meat export.
In a letter to Narendra Modi, Swamy said the subsidies given to cow meat exporters are extended out of taxpayers’ money “and millions of such taxpayers are hurt when their money is given by way of subsidy to meat exporters.”
He urged the Prime Minister to direct authorities to abolish subsidies to meat sector immediately “as a first step towards eventual banning of cow meat export”.
Swamy said while Maharashtra and a few other states have banned cow slaughter, now there is a need to withdraw the 13 types of subsidies extended to the exporters which are administered through Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority ( APEDA).
“These subsidies thus encourage cow meat exports from those states which have not banned cow slaughter and thus crores of rupees of the nation go to the pockets of meat exporters by way of these subsidies,” he said.
Swamy pointed out that meat exports started in 1992 and have reached 15 lakh MT in terms of quantity and over Rs 30,000 crore in terms of value.
“In your 2014 election speeches you correctly referred to meat exports as pink revolution of the earlier government and said it should be banned,” he said.
The receipt of his letter was personally acknowledged by Modi.
Amid cry for beef ban, meat exports from India on a rise
Even as states like Maharashtra and Haryana ban beef and impose strict punishment in case of violation, there has been a continuous growth in the export of the meat in the past three years.
US department of agriculture shows that India has been the largest exporter of beef in the world since last year. While it remains the largest exporter of beef, according to the UN Comtrade data, India’s share in global trade of animal products for 2013 stood at 0.89 per cent. Politics over beef notwithstanding, India has been flagging the issue of market access of buffalo meat with China, Indonesia and the EU, which have halted meat import from India citing reasons like prevalence of foot & mouth diseases.
Reasons for India’s meager share in world trade include high consumption base, relatively low productivity, prevalence of various livestock diseases such as foot and mouth disease, impeding market access to Indian livestock products, several quality, and non-tariff issues from major competing countries.