Centre may waive slaughter tax in Goa

| 24 September 1998 11:57 IST

The central cabinet is expected to take up the issue of dropping Goa from applying the exorbitant amount of service tax on animal slaughter, since its sole meat complex in the tourist state is virtually running in loss due to the new policy of the BJP-led government.

The slaughter work at the abattoir, run by the state-sponsored Goa Meat Complex, has literally come to a standstill with the rate of slaughter coming down from 150 animals to 15 animals per day. The new taxation policy imposes service tax of Rs 1000 behind every animal.

However, union agriculture minister Sompal has agreed to exclude the state of Goa from applying the nation-wide taxation policy, claims Goa chief minister Wilfred de Souza. Realising that the respective section in the finance bill is yet to be notified, he has also requested the centre not to notify it without necessary modifications.

The meat complex was not only providing hygienic meat to the local customers in the state, but was also exporting it to the Middle East countries. But the exports have totally stopped now, while sale of unhygienic meat in the village markets here is causing a serious concern from health point of view.

With the manpower of around 100 people, the meat complex was earning around Rs 30 lakh per month. But the five-year contract with a private party expired in May this year, after which no party is coming forward to sign the new contract due to the exorbitant tax structure.

While also lobbying with all the ministers he met during his Delhi visit last week, de Souza has also requested the central government to clarify whether the meat can be sold at the same old rates till final decision is taken in this regard.

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