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To meet the expenses of running cow shelters in the state, the Madhya Pradesh government is planning to impose a surcharge on liquor and other products. According to a report in Hindustan Times, Livemint's sister publication, the Gau Samvardhan board needs 160 crore to feed 2.6 lakh cows living in 1,300 cow shelters. Therefore, the Gau Samvardhan Board has urged Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to generate 100 crore to meet the basic expenses of running the cow shelters.

However, a senior officer of the finance department told the daily that they cannot impose any additional tax on products that come under the GST ambit. He said a surcharge can be imposed on fuel, liquor, electricity, and other services. "As the prices of fuel are already high, we are focusing on imposing a tax on liquor, electricity, and services provided by the municipal bodies," the officer told the daily.

The CM has directed officers to impose some welfare surcharge on products and services to generate income for cow welfare and protection scheme. CM Chouhan has directed the state authorities to chalk out a plan to impose a tax on fodder for cows, which will help in the conservation of these animals.

At the meeting, the CM asked the officials to make special arrangements to increase the sale of cow products by launching a massive publicity campaign. He said that phenyl made of cow urine should be used in government offices.

The chief minister said the Kamdhenu Gau Abhyaranya, a cow sanctuary in Agar Malwa, 190 km north-west of Bhopal, developed by the MP Gau Samvardhan Board, should be turned into a model for the country and made the best national level cow sanctuary. Chouhan also said that the work of the development of gaushalas (cow shelters) in the state should be given to voluntary organizations.

Chouhan also called for special efforts to improve the breed of cows in the state and underlined the need for research to increase the production of milk in cows. According to the 20th animal census of India conducted in 2019, there were more than 1.87 crore cows in the state, according to the official.

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