Kolkata’s beef dealers and leather exporters have welcomed media reports of Centre initiating moves to roll back its decision of banning sale of cattle at livestock markets, for slaughter. However, they are apprehensive about the decision being motivated owing to ensuing polls.“We are happy that finally the Centre had realised its mistake but we are sceptic about the timing of the decision. Why now and why so late? We only hope that the decision has nothing to do with the ensuing Assembly election in Gujarat and civic polls in Uttar Pradesh,” said Md Ali, president, Calcutta Beef Dealers’ Association. He also said that other than the beef industry, milk and sweetmeat industry had also taken a beating after the Centre implemented the ban on May 23. He said that there were enough reasons for being apprehensive. “Earlier we had seen that looking at the polls they had banned buffalo slaughter in one state while in Northeastern states they said there would not be any such ban. Wasn’t that double standards?”Also readCentre refers cattle trade rules to Law Ministry for revisionLeather exporters too echoed similar emotions. “Earlier the Centre had issued a death certificate to the leather industry. Now they must have looked at the balance sheet and realised their mistake after receiving criticism not only nationally but internationally, but we have already suffered huge losses. Our buyer base has already turned to other countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and China. We hope this awakening is not owing to the forthcoming polls,” said Imran Ahmed Khan, general secretary, Calcutta Leather Complex Tanners’ Association. He also said that if, in future the government went back upon its words and assurances after elections, not only the people would take back their mandate but they, on behalf of leather exporters would ‘meet them at the court’. “The government at the Centre is a tubelight government and after their disastrous decisions, we believe they would not return post the 2019 polls. Which ever government succeeds them, these would be a warning alarm for them and they would think 100 time before taking any such decisions,” Khan said.
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Cattle slaughter ban to go? Kolkata’s beef dealers welcome reports of rollback, question timing