In a letter to the central government the Amritsar Poultry Farmers Association also demanded that eggs be included in the mid-day meals scheme in schools and allow chicken and eggs to be exported to Pakistan.
In Pakistan an egg is being sold at 10 rupees and chicken for 300 rupees a kilogram while in India an egg fetches 2.50 rupees and chicken 130 rupees a kilogram, said association president G.S. Bedi.
Poultry farming started in Punjab to help farmers with small holdings to earn better. But it has fallen down from its top position in the country to a lowly fifth due to tax policies in the state, Bedi said.
Punjab used to export poultry items to other states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi. Currently, Haryana has taken the top slot with 250 hatcheries, Bedi said.
“Other problems being faced by the industry include the increase of toll tax by Jammu and Kashmir on poultry from 40 paisa per kilogram to six rupees per kilogram leading to reduction in total production by 50 percent. Broiler production fell from 10 million birds to about seven million,’’ Bedi said. A truck with 4,000 kilogram of birds has to pay a toll of 24,000 rupees in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
Government should save the industry by convincing the state governments to reducing taxes and to promote meal schemes in schools, Bedi said.