Shillong: The Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021 that prohibits interstate transport of cattle to and from, as well as through Assam without valid documents, is primarily to stop the smuggling of cattle outside the country (to Bangladesh) and not stop “legal trade”, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said here on Sunday.
He maintained that the Bill would not in any way affect the legal transportation of cattle to the other North Eastern States.
“I think the law is very clear. Whenever the government of Meghalaya gives a permit, Assam will release consignment. This ban is within the geographical territory of Assam and whenever Meghalaya needs some consignment, or Arunachal needs, Nagaland needs, the only state government has to certify that these vehicles are destined to Meghalaya,” Sarma told UNI.
“Not in any way our bill will affect the consumption level or supply level of States of Meghalaya, Nagaland or Arunachal. They are free to bring ‘things’ through Assam. Only thing is that they have to issue a permit,” he said, when pointed out that there was considerable concern in Meghalaya over the bill, which bans inter-state movement of cattle through Assam.
“Because our whole idea is that ‘things’ should not go out of the country. So basically, all these actions are to stop cattle smuggling. But we are not stopping the legal trade,” the Chief Minister asserted.