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Swaminomics: Easy way for meat export, how is the situation changing under BJP rule?


Meat Export India: The situation is changing in India regarding meat export. Meat exports reached a peak of $4.7 billion in 2014–15. However, when Yogi government came to power in UP after the 2017 elections, it had a lot of impact. Now BJP has changed its stand on this. The Party has understood that dairy, meat and leather industries are inextricably linked with each other.

highlights

  • India’s situation is changing in meat export.
  • Meat export was on top in 2014-15
  • Exports were affected when Yogi government came to power
  • Now the path of meat export is becoming easier
Author- Swaminathan S Anklesaria Iyer

What was one of the most shocking incidents of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ten years of rule? BJP’s conversion from being an opponent to a supporter of buffalo meat export. In the early years, there were reports of attacks by vigilantes on cattle traders, who were often wrongly accused of taking cows for slaughter. This problem further increased during the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. BJP won easily. As chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, a known cow lover, took immediate action against illegal slaughterhouses. Even though they did not kill cows but buffaloes. However, each municipality was required by law to license slaughterhouses for local use. But some municipalities failed to issue licenses over the years and so the gap was filled by illegal slaughterhouses.

Impact on meat export

Attacks by vigilantes reduced the supply of animals. The biggest loss was suffered by slaughterhouses producing buffalo meat, which were licensed for 100 per cent export. There was a surge in meat export from these slaughterhouses. Exports reached a peak of $4.7 billion in 2014–15. These factories conformed to international physio-sanitary standards and underwent rigorous testing to qualify for entry into importing countries. Some illegal slaughterhouses violated hygiene norms, but meat exporters did not. Yet they too had to suffer losses.

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Circumstances changed in Yogi government

After Yogi Adityanath came to power, during a visit to the Unnao factory of Elanasons, a large meat exporter, its director Fauzan Alvi made a big revelation. He told me that due to attacks by cow vigilantes on transporters there has been a 50 per cent decline in the supply of cattle. Uttar Pradesh was by far the largest meat exporter state, so the entire industry was in trouble. Two local cattle transporters said cow vigilantes were roaming on main highways in search of such transporters. The police turned a blind eye to their looting. In such a situation, transporters started using smaller roads and winding routes to avoid attacks. However, he insisted that cow vigilantes were not Hindutva extremists but small-time goons out to extort money. Lynching was not common.

condition of slaughterhouses

Farmers sold dry buffalo to slaughterhouses, and the proceeds from their sales accounted for a large portion of dairy profits. In a column, I pointed out that cow vigilantes have endangered not only the meat industry but also the dairy and leather industries associated with it. All three together are the most important industries of the state. I explained that the bull is the ride of Lord Shiva while the buffalo is the ride of Lord Yama and no good Hindu should mistake one for the other. However, there was little hope of changing the policy. Soon after, the licenses of all the buffalo meat factories in the state were due for renewal. Rumors of extortion and closure spread. Then, Alvi says, Yogi appointed a new officer with a reputation for integrity. He renewed every license without charging a single penny. It all seemed too good to be true.

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cattle transportation

Later during a visit to Lucknow, the state’s largest cattle transporter reported that there were no cow vigilantes roaming on the roads anymore. Cattle transportation was normal. Surely, I asked, police harassment was a fact of life. Well, he replied, the rules say that no more than 12 cattle can be loaded per truck, while in practice everyone loads 18-20 animals and pays the police who investigate. He wouldn’t call it persecution, and anyway, it has nothing to do with Hindutva.

‘Meat industry is getting support from government’

Fauzan Alvi, director of large meat exporter Alansons, claimed the industry is now getting full support from the government. It has foiled a major attempt to take bribe. However, there was repeated opposition from bureaucrats, and even sabotage. Three small factories lost their licenses. But in Haryana, another BJP-ruled state, 12 new meat export plants were licensed. This shows that the party’s policy has indeed changed.

If circumstances changed then why did meat export remain stable?

If conditions were so good, why have meat exports remained stagnant at about $3 billion in recent years? Alvi said the biggest hurdle was the prevalence of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Indian cattle. Many countries had banned or limited quotas on meat imports from FMD countries, and meat prices were very low. On the insistence of the industry, PM Modi, in 2019, launched a National Animal Disease Control Program to increase milk production and meat exports by controlling FMD by 2025. That program has made progress, but its elimination target date is 2030.

This is how change is coming in BJP’s stance

Alvi says that once we achieve this target, meat exports can double or triple because India is highly competitive and demand from countries like China-Indonesia is high. BJP emphasizes on the expected increase in milk production rather than meat exports. Despite opposition to meat exports from some elements, the party has understood that the dairy, meat and leather industries are inextricably linked. In such a situation, everyone should be promoted. This is a surprising but positive development.

Ruchir Shukla

About the Author

Ruchir Shukla

Ruchir Shukla has been associated with presswire18 Times Online since February 2020. First a news agency, then after TV journalism, he entered digital media. Working in digital media for about 10 years. There is special interest in politics, crime, positive news of all kinds. The process of learning and understanding continues continuously.… Read more
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